Business Schools must ensure they provide the support needed to those wishing to launch ventures that can contribute to a more sustainable planet, says Xavier Arola, as he outlines the work of GBSB Global Business School’s startup hub
To be a business leader, you must be able to instigate real change. Innovation must be at the heart of your motivation, and that is why GBSB Global Business School believes that it is vital to give future business leaders the platform to grow and develop their ventures.
Through our ‘G-Accelerator’ startup hub, we aim to engage with individuals concerned with bettering the world and society by employing sustainable business models that are not only socially responsible, but also financially and environmentally sustainable too.
Early-stage support for ‘Triple Impact’ ventures
With a strong focus on both innovation and technology, the G-Accelerator targets next-generation entrepreneurs, particularly those with disruptive ideas that intend to launch businesses that will help contribute to a better society. The aim is to allow entrepreneurs to reach their potential by providing solid support and the necessary resources to succeed.
Once a year, the G-Accelerator has an ‘Impact Call’, a six-month pre-accelerator programme that provides training, mentoring, networking, and financial support services to early-stage entrepreneurs focused on developing a venture with a ‘Triple Impact’ – i.e. ventures that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
The Impact Call offers a roadmap of 20 weeks from the first steps of ideation to the market, from product development to managerial skills and acquaintance modules. As such, the G-Accelerator aims to source and support those who want to develop their own business in a short but highly efficient timeframe.
The support, training and networking opportunities are invaluable. Those with access to the hub have access to a network of other entrepreneurs during and after their programme that spans not only across Spain, but also across the world. There are different profiles and development stages between the entrepreneurs and startups in this programme, and the exchanging of insights, concerns and results are of clear value.
Projects with the potential to create value for society
In partnership with the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) and the University of Northampton’s Institute of Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) in the UK, the G-Accelerator’s Impact Call is sponsored by the Catalan Government’s Ministry of Business and Labour and the European Social Fund.
Our shared mission with these partners is focused on promoting the impact economy. So, we look for projects where the creation of added value for society is the central element of the business model. By doing this, we intend to promote the circular economy and focus on real needs under the principles of sustainability, viability and feasibility.
Over the years, numerous successful ventures have developed through the G-Accelerator programme. The first is MIN Organics – an e-commerce platform that specialises in selling organic menstrual products in bulk, allowing women to overcome stigma and customise their menstrual cycle according to their individual needs. Founded by Anna Comas, MIN Organics [formerly, MYOX Organics] won Best Startup in the Pre-Seed & Seed category of the G-Accelerator Impact Call Programme 2020-2021 edition.
Then there is Orpheus – an enterprise focused on monitoring air quality and other criteria to improve people’s welfare, energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions while minimising costs. Orpheus won Best Startup in the Early-Stage category of the aforementioned Impact Call edition.
There is also Agua NEA – the first 100% plastic- and BPA-free mineral water brand in Spain, offered as an alternative solution to the hospitality industry’s massive plastic consumption. This startup is another beneficiary of the G-Accelerator Impact Call 2020-2021 edition.
Whether the idea is in its infancy or has already received partial funding, GBSB Global Business School invites individuals to apply to the programme in order to get expert mentorship and guidance in seeing their dreams become a successful reality. In a world where input is needed at a rapid rate to slow down the effects of climate change, we believe all Business Schools and universities should provide the support needed to those wishing to launch a venture that can contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable planet.
Xavier Arola is the G-Accelerator Programme Director at GBSB Global Business School, which has campuses in Spain and Malta. Xavier is also Head of Careers & Entrepreneurship Services, and a Professor of Investments and Entrepreneurial Finance at the School.