Ethical financing represents 5% of the GDP of the EU
This piece of information was shared at the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Meeting organised by the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences.
The Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences has organised the first Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Meeting, in which projects and new companies that are having a social and environmental impact at a local, national and European level were presented. Based on the data presented and analysed, the coordinator of FETS- Ethical and Solidarity Financing, Nina González Fernández-Argüelles, pointed out that ethical financing represents 5% of the GDP of the EU.
The session was attended by a total of ten companies and public institutions who shared their experiences in the sector with students and professionals, and was inaugurated by the general director of Social Economy, the Third Sector, Cooperatives and Self-Made Companies, Josep Vidal, and the vice-dean of the faculty, Frederic Marimon. Before this, IESE professor Antonio Argandoña gave a talk entitled “The social function of companies in society”. In his talk he underlined the essential role people play in companies and the importance of looking after the human aspect of companies instead of focusing solely on generating revenue.
Afterwards the first round table was held, with participation from the legal coordinator of the Oasiurbà Association, Ivo Recoder; the coordinator of Som Mobilitat, Arnau Vilardell; one of the founders and CEO of Back to Eco, Núria Nubiola, and Brand and Product Manager at Holaluz.com, Oihana Parera. Each of the speakers, from highly different sectors, described the purpose of the projects they presented. From improving life conditions in Barcelona in a cross-cutting way in terms of housing and family, as they do in the Oasiurbà Association, to a transition to sustainable mobility in the Catalan capital, the aim of Som Mobilitat, through cooperation with Public Administration, citizens and companies.
On the other hand, Nubiola described the importance of recycling textiles, such as denim for example, in great detail, since this is the cornerstone of his business. They have already processed up to 8 tons, out of which 30% was used to make and sell more than 8.000 products so far. Finally, Parera gave an overview of his foundation and growth at Holaluz.com, an energy company which in his words “aims to reinvent the relationship between the consumer and their electricity company” and he explained it all using simple and clear language. “The founders are aiming for a positive impact by connecting people to green energy” he underlined.
The second round table, on financing social entrepreneurship ecosystems in Barcelona, received participation from project advisor at the Goteo Foundation, Manuela Frudà, who talked about the role of crowdfunding; the fund manager at Capital Gestión SGIIC, Luís Hernández, and González Fernández-Argüelles, who described the importance of ethical banking at a European level, and how this model is growing to the detriment of traditional banking.
The third and final round table focused on providing support for social entrepreneurship ecosystems in Barcelona. To do this several experts in the area took part in the debate, such as the head of guidance services for social economy organisations, head of administration and management at La Ciutat Invisible SCCL, Hernán Córdoba; director of Yunus Social Business City Barcelona, and a representative from the Centre for Socio-economic Innovation at Barcelona Activa, Innoba, Guillem Frutos, as the invited experts. All of them described the activities, workshops and programmes being carried out in their institutions and organisations. In these ecosystems the aim is to advise and support projects of all types that have a common denominator: entrepreneurship and innovation from a social perspective. “Social impact is not only generated by the project being offered, but also how it is being offered” concluded Frutos.