Barcelona Activa

Barcelona Activa is the Local Development Agency of the Barcelona City Council. Its mission is to foster the transformation of Barcelona through Entrepreneurship, Business Growth, Innovation, Human Capital & Quality Employment.

Created in 1986, this municipal company was born as a business incubator with 16 projects installed. Today, Barcelona Activa welcomes more than 260.000 participants yearly in its overall activities and coaches more than 2.400 projects per year with a business creation rate of almost 70%, which is 1.700 created companies yearly, each of which generates 1.9 jobs. Thus, the impact in the local economy is evident as it clearly boosts employment creation and long-term economic activity (85% of the companies created are still active at their 3rd year).

The agency is currently working in the following areas:

  • Entrepreneurship: to spread entrepreneurship and coach entrepreneurs to take the step from the business idea to the creation of their own business.
  • Business Growth: to facilitate the future of recently created businesses by generating cooperation networks and contributing to the improvement of their competitiveness.
  • Access to quality employment: to adapt the professional profiles of the people looking for work or wanting to improve their occupation, and to foster labour inclusion of those collectives with greatest difficulties, by responding to the needs of the companies.
  • Management of Human Capital: to increase the professional opportunities that the new work cultures, new occupations, and the emerging economic sectors bring with them.
  • Digital training: to turn the new technologies and their applications into a professional development tool for people and companies

Barcelona Activa´s two Business Incubators and Technology Park hosted 139 innovative start-ups and projects in 2011.

The agency’s innovative blended model offering support to entrepreneurship, business growth and development of human capital has consolidated as an international benchmark having been transferred to other settings, both within the Spanish territory and internationally, and being recognized by international institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Commission and the OECD.

Role in the project:

Barcelona Activa is the leader of work package 2 (Living Labs in Smart Cities: Urban labs).