BBVA Momentum’s teams in Colombia, the United States, Mexico and Turkey are ready to welcome the 76 entrepreneurs that made it through the screening process of the total 847 candidacies submitted globally. Now is the time to shake off the uncertainty built after weeks of waiting for the country committees to come up with the final list of candidates, and take a deep breath because BBVA Momentum 2018 is just about to start! The selected entrepreneurs now face 21 very intense weeks during which they will define a renewed growth plan to escalate their ideas and amplify their positive impact on the world.
Thanks to the program, which keeps growing with each new edition to pursue more ambitious goals, the entrepreneurs will have access to:
- A 21-week blended training program (online and face to face).
- A ‘mentoring’ program, where selected BBVA employees will solve the doubts of entrepreneurs and contribute to enrich the growth plan with their strategic vision.
- A powerful network of entrepreneurs, customers and investors, that are part of the BBVA Momentum ecosystem.
- Strategic collaboration to increase the visibility of their companies.
Taking part in BBVA Momentum yields many advantages for participants. Besides a comprehensive training package, the program allows the chosen candidates to benefit from having access to strategic mentoring, financing, networking, increased visibility and one of the most complete entrepreneurship support ecosystems. For their part, selected entrepreneurs are required to commit to attend all online and classroom training sessions, complete their assignments, timely provide any information they are requested to, participate in the final closing event of the program presenting their growth plan and collaborate in the drawing up of the program’s communication materials.
A global training program
Despite miles that separate them, participants will undergo the same training program, which includes 14.5 hours of online sessions (including synchronous, and asynchronous sessions and forum participation) and three classroom sessions. The starting date for the five-month training program will differ and will be adjusted to conform to each country’s schedule. For the entrepreneurs of former editions of the BBVA Momentum program, the experience is absolutely worth recommending: “I made the most of the BBVA-sponsored program, and I learnt many new things in connection to my business,” said Camila Cooper, the Colombian entrepreneur that founded Fruto Bendito, at the end of the BBVA Momentum 2017. "I browsed the platform on a daily basis, completed my assignments, and joined the live skill-building sessions.”
The ‘online’ sessions will be organized by the Corporate Learning Alliance (CLA), an initiative spawning from an alliance between Instituto de Empresa and the Financial Times and which will be open to all BBVA Momentum entrepreneurs through its educational platform. Classroom sessions will be organized by prestigious institutions in each participating country: MET Colombia, The McCombs School of Business at University of Texas (USA), Impact Hub (Turkey) and EGADE (Mexico).
The best mentoring
Mentoring is not only pivotal to BBVA Momentum, but is also one of the most highly regarded features by the entrepreneurs that took part in past editions. For María José Gil, who took part in the 2017 edition of BBVA Momentum, “the mentorship part of the program was very relevant. Our mentor helped us in an area where we needed to improve and she was very good at: Analytical accounting.”
BBVA Momentum’s ecosystem consists of both mentors that accompany entrepreneurs and offer them strategic advice, and specialists who are there to help – subject to a 48 hour time-limit – with specific doubts in other areas, including communications, legal, human resources, etc. Mentors devote 40 hours to this task during the training period.
Connected to grow
If there’s one thing that BBVA Momentum is proud about is its contact network: a dynamic ecosystem that fosters collaboration, the exchange of knowledge and experiences, and relationships between participants. “It is important to get in touch with other people that have the same needs and problems, because we can all help each other,” said José Luis Pérez from Mexico, whose Cerrando el Ciclo project was shortlisted to take part in BBVA Momentum 2017. This network also comprises other institutions that support entrepreneurship, educational organizations and social investors.
A bridge for investment
Financing is one of the most pressing concerns for entrepreneurs, because capital is often a key factor to the success of their growth plans. Aware of this need, BBVA acts as liaison between the participating projects and potential social impact investors. In some cases, depending on the policy of the program on each country, it will offer loans subject to special conditions to the most promising projects.
Environmentally-friendly, educational and diverse
The mosaic of companies taking part in this new edition of BBVA Momentum is a reflection the most pressing global concerns require urgent solutions: 45.55% of the participating entrepreneurship programs focus on the environment and rural areas, 27% on fostering education and developing skills, almost 25% on diversity and inclusion, and 24% on developing high-impact digital and technological solutions. The remaining 21.8% of projects target different sectors.
Regarding the area of activity, 20% of the participating projects concentrate on the education, 20% on other sectors, 17% on trade and 16% on utilities and the environment.
A journey that’s just begun. To successfully complete the program participants will need to keep their eyes and minds wide open, a proactive attitude, and be ready to work hard. The ecosystem will support participants to help each one of them prepare the growth plan that will allow them to escalate their business and achieve the results they expect. Thus the program will continue to live up to the definition that one of the participants in last year’s edition, María Dolores Enrique, of Cadena de Valor, came up with to describe the program: “BBVA Momentum is the experienced guide that points us in the right direction towards the horizon where we want to be.”