Interview with the winners of LAB Impact Andorra 2017 program by MoraBanc and Ship2B

Interview with the winners of LAB Impact Andorra 2017 program by MoraBanc and Ship2B

A few days ago we found out which project was selected as winner for the third edition of the LAB Impact Andorra program by MoraBanc and Ship2B.

LAB Impact Andorra is a program that responds to MoraBanc’s determination to support Andorra’s entrepreneurial fabric, particularly those projects that could have a social impact in the Principality. This is the third edition of this initiative that MoraBanc implements through the renowned Barcelona-based Ship2B foundation.

This year’s winning project, Andorra Market Place, has significant impact on the Andorran territory by offering small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to open their business to online activity via a platform where they can submit and sell their offer in a digital environment.

As the winning project, Andorra Market Place is offered the opportunity of a four-month support period in Barcelona, where the project can take advantage of Ship2B’s resources and contacts to carry out the initiative.

We interviewed project leaders Eva Àlvarez and Ruben Arranz to get a better understanding of where this idea came from and what they expect from their initiative in the future.

How did you come up with the idea for Andorra Market Place?

Ruben: The idea came from the objective of helping small stores sell their products online. We aim to make local commerce competitive by giving them a virtual showcase and reaching more people.

Who is behind this initiative?

Eva: Ruben came up with the idea and, little by little, a team of three people has fallen in love with the possibilities. Both with the idea of helping boost a business and of regaining the sense of community, connecting the country’s neighborhood stores with a greater number of customers.

What will people find when they visit the website?

R: The platform is currently under development, but the idea is that geolocalization will help users find the platform’s interesting promotions and exclusive products, offered by a greater number of stores in the country, promoting local purchases.

What services will the platform offer the merchant?

E: Basically, they’ll be able to sell their products online through a simple and fast system, taking advantage of advertising campaigns and information about their star products, local products, homemade products, etc.

For the end customer, it means an optimization of their time, as they’ll be able to purchase these products from any store.

What new development does this company provide that doesn’t exist in the current market?

R: First, it enhances visibility for the small businesses in the network, which does not currently exist. We want to promote direct communication between the end customer and merchant through a chat, connect them technologically by facilitating the sales transaction, encouraging local purchases.
We want to give value to the personalized service offered by the small business, bringing it closer to a greater number of customers.

Now a slightly more personal question…Why did you decide to start a business? What is your goal: to become rich, to change the world, to be your own boss…or perhaps there’s another?

R: To be able to do something we like. And we’re not going to kid ourselves: the idea of being your own boss isn’t bad, right?

E: The response from the merchants was very good when we presented the proposal to a few stores in our neighborhood. Lifelong shopkeepers, who still do their accounts by hand or people who barely use a mobile phone, were excited about the possibility of opening their small businesses on the internet. That was the best! To think that we could somehow help them.

It seems that more and more attention is gradually being generated about the figure of the entrepreneur. What support have you had?

R: We are here thanks to MoraBanc and Ship2B, without a question. Their support has been crucial in defining and improving this idea. Their support has made it possible for our idea to become a reality.

What are the objectives of Andorra Market Place for the coming years? How do you imagine your startup in 5 years?

E: We’d like to consolidate ourselves and be leaders in Andorra’s online commerce.

What advice could you give to other young people who want to start their own business?

R: Sign up for the next edition [of LAB Impact Andorra) if you’re not afraid of strong emotions! (laughs)

E: More than anything, they should persevere and not be afraid. You have to make mistakes, redesign and start over again many, many times without losing sight of what started the idea, where everything comes from.

If you are an entrepreneur and need help to make your projects become reality, remember that we can provide the boost you need. Visit this link to know all the details of LAB Impact Andorra and go to our website to learn about our financing options for businesses.

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