More than 600 entrepreneurs from Spain, Mexico and the United States have signed up to participate in the sixth edition of BBVA Momentum, BBVA´s support program for social startups. The registration phase ended on April l16 and the selection period has now begun. On May 22, the names of all the entrepreneurs selected in each country will be announced.
During the five-week subscription period more than 600 entrepreneurs have signed up to take part in BBVA Momentum (momentum.bbva.com) from Spain, Mexico and the United States. By categories, almost half are business initiatives whose activity focuses on disabled and excluded people. Of note were the proposals associated with health, education and the environment. Additionally, in this sixth edition there has been an important increase in the number of candidacies of companies that offer digital solutions to confronting a social challenge.
Now the selection period begins. Once a selection is made of the candidates that meet the criteria to take part in the program, an expert jury will choose the business projects that will have the greatest social impact and are the most sustainable.
BBVA Momentum is also moving ahead with the search for social entrepreneurs in other countries. Colombia will be the next country to join the program. On April 24, the reception period will open for candidates to select 20 local initiatives. In the weeks to come, it will be followed by Turkey, which has a pilot program in this edition.
A multidisciplinary jury
A group of experts from the social and business management fields will be charged with choosing the finalists. The selection of aspiring initiatives will take place in three stages. The first will be the evaluation by the local jury, composed of professionals specialized in the management of SME’s, risk evaluation and responsible business development. Each one of them will make a ranking of the most promising companies, from which a pre-selection of finalists will be made.
With this first phase completed, local workshops will be held, in which the members of the jury will be able to question the entrepreneurs, in order to clear up any doubts about the projects that have been presented. The aspirants will also take part in a training session and will be able to come in contact with other entrepreneurs.
The pre-selected candidates from each country will pass to the second phase, in which a global jury will decide which projects will participate in the sixth edition of BBVA Momentum. The final list will be announced on May 22.
Selection of mentors and specialists
One of the aspects of BBVA Momentum that is most highly valued by the entrepreneurs is strategic support. As in previous editions, the heads of the program have launched a call to employees of the BBVA Group to support the social entrepreneurs with their knowledge and experience.
On the one hand, mentors will be selected. Their function is to offer advice on business management, planning and strategic vision. The mentor must commit him or herself to a minimum dedication - including face-to-face meetings - of 30 hours during the seven months the program lasts.
In this sixth edition, the mentors will be joined by specialists. These are BBVA employees from around the world that will provide support to the entrepreneurs in their specialties: human resources, marketing, communication, finance, engineering, legal affairs, web design and user experience. These professionals will respond to specific consultations in their specialty areas through an online platform, with a commitment to answer within 48 hours.
To date, 114 companies have participated in BBVA Momentum and tare having a positive social impact on more than 1.5 million people.