Bizbarcelona provides ideas and spaces where people can connect in order to boost the economy

Bizbarcelona by Barcelona Activa, the show for SMEs, entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, is moving with the times, envisaging alternative initiatives capable of transforming the current socioeconomic model. Hence the main new development at this year’s event is the launch of the BizEconomiaSocial space, which will reveal cross-cutting proposals in the areas of social, solidarity and cooperative economies, amongst others. This new area will join the already established Bizemprèn, aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, and Bizpimes, which focuses specifically on promoting the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.

With this format, the goal of Bizbarcelona’s organisers is to connect the highest possible number of people through activities that promote knowledge, networking, funding and advice, turning the event into an effective platform for economic revitalisation and job creation. The show will take place on 1 and 2 June at Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc Exhibition Centre.

In total, Bizbarcelona will host some 200 conferences, 350 speakers, four monographic workshops, 19 networking sessions, 85 exhibitors and two markets aimed at financing and employment respectively.

Agustí Colom, Barcelona City Council’s councillor for Employment, Business, Trade and Tourism, and president of Bizbarcelona, feels that incorporating alternative business approaches from the social economy into the show’s traditional format will result in ‘a more plural event, with wider appeal and added value’. Colom champions Bizbarcelona’s role when it comes to providing both ideas and tools for entrepreneurship, innovation and boosting the business sector, employment and economic activity in the city.

More social value initiatives
The BizEconomiaSocial section will feature at least twenty conferences for sharing ideas, experiences, success stories and tools to ensure that entrepreneurship and business activities have a high impact both socially and on the local environment. Subjects will include entrepreneurship in the third sector; cooperativism; financing social economy projects; collective entrepreneurship; accelerating social start-ups; trends in responsible consumption; and the status of transformative economies. There will also be more than a dozen advice desks provided.

Meanwhile, Bizemprèn will concentrate on guidance, workshops, lectures and activities for those wishing to pursue business ideas or who are seeking out options for self-employment. The phase a project has reached — vision, passion or execution — will determine the topics covered.

Trends in different sectors, the differences between accelerators, incubators and business builders; key steps for drawing up a business plan and how to find investors are just some of the issues to bear in mind when launching a business venture, all of which will be discussed in the Vision section.

Concurrently, in Passion for enterprise, Bizbarcelona is providing a panel of speakers to motivate, inspire and help you to learn from others and understand yourself. Notable amongst them is the new Catalan of the Year, Òscar Camps, founder of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms which has a prominent presence in the Syrian refugee crisis along the Greek coastline; the actor Joaquín Reyes, creator of the highly successful TV programmes ‘La Hora Chanante’ and ‘Muchachada Nui’, who will explain his experiences of how he reinvented his career; the Austrian university lecturer Christian Felber, father of the concept of ‘The Economy for the Common Good’; and the biochemist, firefighter and ultra-marathon champion, Emma Roca. This section will feature the Failcon conferences, an event based on the concept that making mistakes is the forerunner to achieving success. Also, mentors from SeedRocket and the founders of Offerum, Ulabox, Marfeel and Uvinum will talk about how to set up a company without a euro to your name.

Finally, the Execution section will feature conferences on business creation and management; communications and 2.0 marketing; sales and internationalisation; innovations, new trends and opportunities; and financing. There will also be 40 personalised advice desks on these subjects along with networking sessions promoted by a number of organisations aimed at finding partners, suppliers and potential clients. Additionally, a new edition of the Financing Market is being organized by Barcelona Activa, with the participation of the Catalan Institute of Finance, Business Angels, financial institutions, private investors and crowdfunding networks.

Solutions for SMEs
Bizpimes will address the needs of small and medium sized enterprises. The conferences will present the latest developments in business management methods, solutions for digitalisation and innovation and the options available for financing and internationalisation. There will be 20 specialist advice desks provided to help explore these topics further. The Bizexporta area, organised by CaixaBank and Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, is especially well equipped to assist firms with ambitions to expand abroad; to help analyse business opportunities in specific markets, such as the Middle East, North Africa, Europe; Latin America; Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and to resolve specific queries relating to the field of exports.

The Job Market Place is another feature of Bizpimes, organised by Barcelona Activa in conjunction with PIMEC, at which professionals from a number of sectors can present themselves as candidates to companies looking for staff with particular qualifications. There will also be a University Initiative Forum designed to bring togetherstart-ups and projects driven by students.

For both audiences
Bizbarcelona includes areas of common interest to entrepreneurs and SMEs alike. A new feature will be the four workshops on e-commerce, logistics challenges, digitalisation and customer experience, alongside the trade show area where some 80 companies, institutions and organisations will present products and services of specific interest to both audiences. As well as the traditional Speed Dating, Video Pitch and The Wall, this edition also features the Centro de Reempresa de Cataluña (Catalonia Business Transfer Centre) which looks for people to guarantee the continuity of businesses in danger of closing down; and Barcelona Activa’s SynergyS, a market for business opportunities between SMEs and major companies which present their challenges so that solutions can be provided by entrepreneurs, start-ups and self-employed professionals.

The franchise system will also have its own section, known as Bizfranquicias, featuring some 60 brands from a variety of fields looking to increase their presence in the Catalan market. Additionally, training and networking activities will take place in this area so that potential franchisees can understand the benefits of investing or engaging in this business model.

Bizbarcelona by Barcelona Activa, organised by Fira de Barcelona, is supported by Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government, CaixaBank, Barcelona Provincial Council, PIMEC and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 other entities that form part of the Bizcommunity also collaborate by providing content and promoting the event.

Barcelona, 26th May 2016