Entrepreneur seeks Entrepreneur
Three stories from entrepreneurs of today who with effort, hope and a great deal of confidence in their projects, set up their business and who now are helping others to initiate their own adventure in the world of commerce. We met them in the Salón Emprendedor (Entrepreneur Salon) on the 16th and 17th of June in Montjuïc.
Names and logos for entrepreneurs
His enthusiasm and talent for drawing led Álex Caravaca (Barcelona, 1977) to leave his work in the metallurgic sector to focus on graphic design, the career he had been training for. In 2001 he set up a design studio with a partner, “an experience in which I learned a lot but which lasted only a short while” he recalls. Three years later he set up on his own and opened Estudicaravaca.com in the business incubator of Sabadell City Council, undertaking projects for other entrepreneurs located there and neighbouring councils. He slowly began to create a new business concept on detecting the need of any business project or idea for a name and an associated corporate image. In early 2009 NomLogo was created, offering entrepreneurs services for the creation of names and logos at accessible prices.
“I wanted to produce graphic design for everyone, without the need for long-term, expensive and complex projects, I standardised the phases of the creative process and evaluated them in terms of hours worked”. Shortly afterwards he extended his service portfolio with DesignTime (design by time) one of the most requested services due to its flexibility when adapting to budgets. “For a little money, entrepreneurs can have professional quality in terms of business image and communications. In 30 minutes we can update the information on a business card or a website or in 2 hours we can design an advert or a presentation”.
The philosophy of his other creative services is also based on design by time: Speed Logo, the creation of a logotype using an idea preconceived by the client; Diagnóstico Gráfico for renewing or improving a company image; Pack Oficina, for the design of corporate stationery and his new Área Web, with standard options of an on-line shop and a blog or options for a corporate website and a made-to-measure Flash-based website.
Coworking in Barcelona
Almost three years ago Cristina Martínez-Sandoval (Barcelona, 1973) opened a shared office in the very heart of the Barcelona neighbourhood of Gracia, after renovating and fitting out a family-owned property. She imported the idea from the United States where a friend worked in a co-working centre.
Co-working brings together experts from different sectors in the same office who rent a space to work while sharing facilities and common areas at a fixed price with all expenses included. “It is an excellent solution for self-employed workers and entrepreneurs who cannot afford to rent office space or for those who do not like to work alone at home or who prefer to separate their private space from their professional work”, explains Cristina, who adds that this concept also “promotes synergies and joint projects from the affinity of professions and excellent working environment”.
Designers, journalists, translators, engineers, programmers and even NGO’s have passed through the doors of the Gracia Work Center. Cristina Martínez-Sandoval also noted that the office sees contracts from numerous foreign freelancers who are temporarily stationed in Barcelona.
The loft-style facilities of the Gracia Work Center comprise 15 working areas which are rentable for 250 or 300 euros a month in accordance with the area occupied. Virtual office services are also offered and work space can be leased for hours or days. At the end of the day Cristina is yet another co-worker as she has created Gracia Work Center Media with a journalist based in the office, the company is a digital communications service business for entrepreneurs, SME’s and foundations.
Relaxation and health at work
Ignasi Seró Torroja
Almost ten years ago Ignasi Seró (Barcelona, 1982) entered into contact with Oriental culture and manual therapy through the martial art Aikido. This graduate of Humanities and Social and Cultural Anthropology began his training in the therapeutic art of Shiatsu in Movement, which comprises concepts of traditional Chinese medicine with body work, energy and psychotherapy. He has worked as a therapist in this field since 2006 and holds initiation classes for shiatsu with relaxation sessions and body work for groups in cultural centres, health centres and trade fairs among other venues.
His daily work gave him the insight into the idea of applying the benefits of Shiatsu to the business sector, which he says “needs to improve its professional health maintenance services in order to increase worker performance and productivity and reduce absenteeism”. Seró and his partner in the venture, Taida Gómez, used the assessment and guidance of Barcelona Activa to analyse the viability of the project, prepare the business plan and start up the business, which opened up a little under three months ago.
The Shiatsu Movement Company offers personalised sessions at work with prices starting from just 25 euros, a cost which can be met wholly by the company or shared with employees. According to Seró, “we are still contacting a lot of companies in order to publicise our services”. In June they hope to receive a warm welcome from the entrepreneurs visiting the salon as it is clients from this sector who, in Seró’s words are “those with a more pre-disposed to investing in health, as with companies from other countries”.