21st Century Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

IE Business School and the Fundación Eduardo Barreiros debate the challenges facing entrepreneurs in the 21st century


MADRID, November 28, 2007.- IE Business School and the Fundación Eduardo Barreiros joined forces to run a debate workshop on ?Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: New Challenges?, designed to promote business start-ups as an engine for wealth, social well-being and job creation. The event was attended by senior directors of leading firms who debated new challenges facing entrepreneurs in this century.


The inauguration included addresses by M? Luz Barreiros, President of the Eduardo Barreiros Foundation, Fernando Merry del Val, Councillor for Economy and Consumption Comunidad de Madrid (Madrid regional authorities) and Diego de Álcazar, President of IE Business School. Mr Alcázar centred on the importance of creating new businesses as a source of growth for modern society, IE?s commitment to the generation of new business, including the fact that 25% of IE students have set up their own businesses.


Mariluz Barreiros, President of the Eduardo Barreiros Foundation, commented that one of the main objectives of her Foundation was to disseminate the key role that entrepreneurs play, just as her father, Eduardo Barreiros, did. The Councillor for Eocnomy and consumption at Comunidad de Madrid, Fernando Merry del Val, talked about the main challenges facing Communidad de Madrid, particularly the need for new knowledge for an active economy, describing Comunidad de Madrid as a magnet for entrepreneurial talent.


The round table on ?Entrepreneurial Management? tackled problems facing Spanish firms in the field of internationalisation strategy. Participants included Jesús Salazar, President of the SOS Cuétara group, María José Álvarez, member of the board of directors of the Eulen group, and Enric Casi, General Director of Mango. Ignacio de la Vega, Director of the IE Business School Centre for Entrepreneurship, felt one of the key conclusions to be drawn from participants? comments was the importance of using an internationalisation model as a growth tool in the different companies, along with the fact that maintaining a company is actually more difficult than setting one up.


The workshops continued with an address by Pedro Luis Fernández, CEO of GAM, who talked about the difficulties he encountered during the creation and development of his business. He concluded by stating that a group of ordinary people can do extraordinary things.


Finally, the round table on ?Management and Growth in Family Businesses in the Automotive Sector? covered some of the specific characteristics of family businesses in the automotive sector, together with management models that ensure the continuity of the family firm based on growth, competitiveness and profitability. Participants included Francisco Riberas, CEO of the Gestamp Group; María Helena Antolín, from the board of directors of the Antolín group, and Pedro Erciso Bergé, Vice President of the Bergé group.

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