Solange M. Segal has been in charge of Eivissa Crea: for the last twelve years. It is a project created to support Ibiza’s entrepreneur spirit, economic promotion and active policies related to local employment and development. During all this time, they have helped over 2000 entrepreneurs and they have seen over 40 of them go through Vivero de Empresas de Ibiza.
We spoke to Solange M. Segal, who is responsible for Eivissa Crea, and she told us everything about starting a business in Ibiza.
1How long have you been working on the project, Eivissa Crea?
Since February 2006.
2How did this opportunity come up?
It was a call for European programs. I was working on the job orientation department during that time and the opportunity of working on this project came up when nothing had been created yet.
3How did Eivissa Crea begin?
We had to start everything from zero. We did not have a team, we had to think about the model of Business Incubator we wanted to have, which did not even exist at that time (it started in 2007). And so we started to create all the tools; the system of evaluation of business plans, we started to evaluate the possibilities of working side by side with other organizations…
4During all this time, how many start-ups have you helped?
Eivissa Crea has supported over 2000 entrepreneurs and we estimate that at least 10% of those inquiries become formal businesses (around 200). We have had over 40 entrepreneurs go through Ibiza’s Business Incubator, most of them with very good results. 90% of the start-ups that go through a business incubator make it. The success rate is higher than it would be for people who start a project on their own. It is a secure space where the entrepreneurs know they are going to be in good hands, they count on a safety net and they are on a place where they can get help in case they need it.
90% of the start-ups that go through a business incubator make it
5Do you remember any particular case for its originality or its difficulty?
We’ve had a little bit of everything. However, one of the first cases we had, although it did not go through the incubator, was a start-up about erotic products which is very successful nowadays. I remember them because no financial institution wanted to support their project, because of the type of business it represented. That was something that had a huge impact on us, it shocked us because it says a lot about society’s double standards.
6In your opinion, what should be some of the personal characteristics of an entrepreneur?
Motivation is the most important thing. They should be self-motivated people. You can learn everything else, but you need motivation because you are not going to have anybody else but yourself to motivate you. You are not going to have a boss telling you what to do or setting deadlines for your work. You will be on your own and you have to be able to be motivated and have that motivation last during the whole process of starting up a business. The day you stop being motivated, you need to quit your start-up.
7What are some of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur must face in Ibiza?
To be able to relate to other entrepreneurs, Ibiza may not be a place where start-ups are really encouraged, there are no entrepreneur’s circles like in bigger cities.
8What services do you offer at Eivissa Crea?
We offer everything a person with a start-up in mind may need; we help them develop that idea, we offer the tools and training. Eivissa Crea offers support during the whole process; the first year is hard, however, the second year is also hard. We try to offer a set of contacts and services for the entrepreneur.
9Do you think that nowadays women may find more challenges than men when it comes starting up a business?
No. I think the fact of creating your own business is about breaking barriers that, as a woman, you may have encountered working for someone else anyway. Starting a project of your own may represent the same challenges for men and women, especially nowadays with online businesses, where you don’t actually know who is behind the project. Online business models don’t have a gender.
Start-ups are equally challenging for men and women
10In your opinion, do you think Ibiza is a good place to start a business?
Yes, I believe Ibiza is a good place to start up a business. We live in a digital age, which means that with most online businesses, it does not really matter where you are. It only matters if you work with local clients. Ibiza has the advantage of being a small place where you have a lot of areas to cover. However, it also presents the challenge of being seasonal, this makes it particularly difficult because you cannot go against it, it just the way Ibiza works and it is hard. Ibiza is also a good place to start a business because the population is heterogeneous; there are people from all over the world that come to the Island eager to do many things.