Thursday, July 7

The innovation sector is fleeing from a City Council that, instead of being an ally, considers it a competitor

Two years ago, the current municipal government began to dismantle the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, which had had an ally in the Madrid City Council for the previous four years. Today, however, we have to regret that PP and Cs have come to consider this ecosystem a competitor instead of a partner. Right now, when we most need the local Administration to help the people in our city who are committed to entrepreneurship and self-employment, to be the engine of collaboration between companies and to channel public resources from other administrations. Only in this way will we be able to generate a resilient economic framework in the current framework.

During the previous term, we promoted La Nave de Villaverde as a pole of urban innovation, we bet on Medialab Prado as a civic laboratory, we collaborated with European projects (Mercado 47 and Proyecto Mares), we developed social impact initiatives, we constitute the seeds of the Construction clusters, Big Data, Cybersecurity and Circular Economy as catalysts for city projects and we promoted the Entrepreneurs Award. There were many initiatives, some pioneering and others adopted, to strengthen the private innovation ecosystem from the municipal administration, which today has gone from having an ally to being considered by the City Council as a competence.

The data is clear in this regard: the complicity with the sector was such that we managed to attract large-scale events for Madrid, with which to generate business opportunities, quality tourism and position ourselves among the large cities in robotics, digital transformation, video games, talent , ecological transition, construction, health, well-being … Events that today flee from a Madrid that is not committed to innovation, digitization or to add value to the trends of the moment towards other cities such as Malaga, which maintain a positioning strategy year after year to be the southern European pole of technological and talent disruption.

The current municipal government is dedicating itself to reversing the previous model – dismantling even that of innovation with social impact, such as the Medialab citizen laboratory – with a mixture of low ambition and lack of knowledge.

The policies to stimulate entrepreneurship, which until now had received individual support from the first steps to the consolidation of the business project, are not left behind in this setback, thanks to the network of six business incubators in the city, opposite to the more than 150 private incubators and accelerators. Setting up a business or generating self-employment is a decisive step for several reasons, the most important of which is the need to have sustenance until the value proposition is materialized in income. And not all the people who undertake have that margin of resources.

In recent months, the debate on measures to support companies and the concerns that beset the self-employed have been mixed, both essential points to ultimately set up a business activity. Many of these problems are part of the strategic plan of the High Commissioner Spain Entrepreneur Nation, with global challenges on sustainability, talent or gender. However, in the day to day of the people who undertake, especially those who are struggling towards entrepreneurship or self-employment, the people who feed us, those who take care of us and those who reinforce the learning of our sons and daughters, the reality is different.

The entrepreneurial and business fabric has transferred to us on several occasions the importance of having public support to gain confidence, channeled through arranged appointments to clarify doubts or resolve administrative issues, hiring, marketing, growth, digitization or internationalization. Individual sessions that are also linked to training sessions based on the needs of each space and business sector.

All this is lost with the model of the current government team. A model of mass production of hypothetical entrepreneurs, without taking into account the local or global market and, much less, the needs that accompany people who take the step motivated or out of necessity, such as aid to the reconciliation of descendants or ascendants and that mostly affect women. A model that will undoubtedly stop serving the self-employment business models of which nearly 800,000 families live in the region and that provide professional or proximity services in our neighborhoods, who are left without the support they need.

A model that competes once again with the acceleration and private incubation programs, highly oriented towards the early acquisition of talent and business models by large companies, precisely the Achilles heel of the public Administration: it does not contemplate the hiring or the collaboration with entrepreneurs and companies supported by municipal services, which should be guides and accompany and advise the neighbors who are committed to entrepreneurship and self-employment. It is the City Council that must bring public resources closer to the other administrations and generate forums for collaboration between companies for business growth and, above all, complement private actions in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. Only in this way will we be able to generate a resilient economic framework and take advantage of the changing opportunities of our city’s urban environment.