BBVA Momentum is not your typical business funding program, because it places a special emphasis on strategic mentoring, training and support. However, businesses enroll in the program for a number of reasons, including the possibility of being awarded a cash prize that will allow them increase their impact. For this reason, the new edition will continue providing access to investment, but with a different approach.
In the five previous editions, BBVA has provided funding to 50 social companies in Spain and Mexico, investing a total of €8 million. This economic aspect has been one of the factors that has drawn more social entrepreneurs to take part in the program and continue making progress. “Back then we needed to grow and strengthen certain aspects of our business”, recalls Aptent’s Diego Carrero (Momentum 2015). “The truth is that Momentum offered us all the possibilities and tools we needed.”
Funding has provided a push for entrepreneurs, who have seen how their growth plans materialized. One of the most notable success stories in the program’s history, is Catalonian company Batec Mobility (Momentum 2012). BBVA invested in the company’s capital, providing a new dimension to the project: “Today, five years after, BBVA is still our partner, and we’ve even built a stronger relationship,” says founder Pau Bach. The company’s growth plan sought to, among other things, reach the two and a half million euros in turnover in the 2012 – 2016 period, but Batec Mobility exceeded all expectations. “we closed with 4 million.” The case of Coshop (Momentum 2014) is also exemplary: “BBVA has invested directly in our capital, and this, as a company, has changed us both at solvency and strength levels,” says founder Nieves Torres.
All funded companies, except one, are meeting their payment obligations and are still growing and increasing their social impact. Through this new approach, the mentorship continues in the relationship with BBVA: “What we value is what has now been dubbed “smart money”. We’re not just looking for money, we’re looking for people capable of contributing to our business,” says Irisbond’s Eduardo Jauregui (Momentum 2015).
A bridge towards social investment
After five years, the program had proven that it has a successful funding model, but there was room for improvement in terms of time and conditions in lending. In the new edition, the assessment, approval, granting and monitoring processes will be better adapted to meet the needs of each social entrepreneur. Now, the program will act as a bridge between entrepreneurs and investors seeking to have a social impact and who are interested in funding the participating companies. Thus, the BBVA Momentum ecosystem will be strengthened with the arrival of new players that can develop an essential role in the lives of many of the participating companies.
BBVA will not abandon its role as potential investor in this new stage, but only in specific projects that generate a higher social impact or that stand out due to their sustainability, offering them, at local level, loans subject to special conditions.
All this to help social entrepreneurs to keep creating opportunities and changing the lives of thousands of people with their companies.