Momentum Project, the program promoted by Esade and BBVA with collaboration from PWC, evaluated the results of its first year (2011) at an event held at The Hub (Madrid). Ángel Cano, COO for BBVA, was present, alongside several members of the Bank’s Steering Committee, representatives of the participating ventures, BBVA mentors, mentors from the sector and Esade students.
At the meeting all of those attending, including the public, were invited to share their thoughts on the ventures participating in Momentum Project 2011: Catering Solidario, DAU, Gran Vallès Assistencial, Hornos Lamastelle, La Tavella, Moltacte, Roba Amiga, Sostre Cívic and Teixidors.
Ángel Cano told of how at the beginning of the program he heard amazing stories from people who were able to tackle social problems by developing financially sustainable companies. “I thought this was highly innovative and straightaway I thought that as a bank we had a lot to give, and even more to learn”. He pointed out the main driving force behind the initiative, Juan Ruiz, founder of Teixidors, one of the projects chosen for the first Momentum and the winner of the Integra 2009 prize.
This Catalan cooperative, which was set up in the 1980s, has achieved the social and labor integration of disabled people through the production of high-quality craft textiles. “I made my concern over lack of funding known to BBVA, they took note of it and that’s sort of how the Momentum idea was born”, joked Juan Ruiz.
The second year of Momentum Project is currently underway. Ten social ventures have already been selected.
“For those of us working in companies and organizations, internally, these projects help us to further our skills, work as a team and they give our work some meaning”, said Ángel Cano.
Representatives of the Momentum Committee, mentors, Esade students and entrepreneurs used a video to explain the commitment to this project, which seeks social benefit. Other topics covered at the event included the training stages for the winners at Esade, advice and planning at BBVA and the launch of the program during the Social Investment Day.
Cristóbal Colon, founder of La Fageda, the first successful social company model in Spain, also spoke at the meeting. Colón explained how its company came to be the leading yogurt producer in the company and achieve 100% employment for people intellectual and mental disabilities in this region of Aragón. “My advice for anyone embarking on any adventure of this kind is that the know exactly ‘why’ they are doing it and, if they persevere, later will come the ‘how’ and ‘with whom’, he said.
Leaders of change
The representatives of the social ventures in the first year of Momentum Project received their diplomas from Ángel Cano, Alfred Vernis and Enrique Fernández Miranda, Chairman of Fundación PwC. Several of the social ventures received funding in the form of loans through an investment vehicle created by BBVA worth an accumulated total of some three million euros.
Ángel Cano also stated that through Momentum, “BBVA wants to support social ventures and become consolidated because our society needs social innovation and new ways of meeting social challenges. They see opportunities where others only see problems”.