Catalonia, an excellent place to start a business
According to the experts, the key variables involved in deciding where to start a new business are influenced by the proximity of: supply sources and first-class suppliers of all types; a qualified, motivated and abundant workforce at a competitive price; an excellent knowledge environment; a strategic location and quality infrastructures; strong markets; a dynamic financial environment; a high standard of living; and, an efficient government which is also supportive. Cecot considers that Catalonia has enormous possibilities for being considered an excellent country for entrepreneurs from all over the world.
The first factor that needs to be outlined is our traditional business structure. Having many small and medium-sized businesses from highly diversified sectors guarantees entrepreneurs’ access to raw materials, installations and quality services that they can choose from.
The second factor that needs to be outlined is the educational environment. Catalonia has 12 universities that offer high level studies. Three of them – the UB, the UAB and the UPF – are already listed in the international ranking of the 500 highest-rated universities, while Catalan business schools, especially the IESE and ESADE, are at the top in rankings at an international level. We still face a pending challenge with vocational training, however it must be said that this has improved a great deal over the last few years.
Europe is still a very strong market and from this perspective, Catalonia has a privileged location, with a port of the first magnitude and air and road accesses, which could be improved, but which are of a high level. Proof of this is that Catalonia accounts for more than 30% of sales to Europe from the entire Spanish state.
With respect to the financial environment, it has to be said that this has also improved a great deal. Next to traditional sources, new initiatives have been launched. Cecot has been a pioneer with the impulse of BANC, an Internet association of private investors, with a platform that allows them to contact potential investors and entrepreneurs.
Finally, it is worthwhile emphasising that Catalonia is an excellent place to live, with a rich and varied geography, with sea and mountains; a warm climate and an enviable cultural environment.
Many of the factors mentioned indicate that we have the perfect breeding ground to become the “promised land” for entrepreneurs. The quality of the infrastructures, vocational training and a more active support from public administrations, especially with respect to their efficiency when dealing with entrepreneurs and tax incentives for investors, are our main challenges for the future.
President of the business-owners Cecot Association