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Monocle: throwing a lifeline to a struggling manufacturing sector

Monocle: throwing a lifeline to a struggling manufacturing sector

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Real Fábrica Española is throwing a lifeline to a struggling manufacturing sector by offering Spanish crafts, food and cosmetics.

In Monocle, issue 59, volume 06, December 12 /Janueary 13, Business Report, Starting Again, Reset Madrid. Web: http://www.monocle.com/sections/business/Magazine-Articles/Starting-again/

Real Fábrica Española is throwing a lifeline to a struggling manufacturing sector by offering Spanish crafts, food and cosmetics.

In Monocle, issue 59, volume 06, December 12 /Janueary 13, Business Report, Starting Again, Reset Madrid. Web: http://www.monocle.com/sections/business/Magazine-Articles/Starting-again/

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Published by: Real Fabrica Española on Nov 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/17/2013

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REPORT
Reset
Madrid
STARTINGAGAIN
-Madrid
Preface
Spain's economic woes arecreating a spirited entrepre-neurialculture in its capital.
We
meet the people turningtheir fortunes around andrevitalising neighbourhoods
in
theprocess, and speak
to
the mayor aboutthenewbusiness initiatives.
WRITER
l.iam Aldous
PHOTOGRAPHER
Gianfranco Tripodo
At the end
of
Madrid's
Gran
Via,
the25-storey
Edificio
Espana
is a
starkreminder
of
the tough
economic timesfacing Spain. Once a symbol
of
opulence
and
prosperity, the
nee-baroque
highrise
is
now boarded up. Plans to convertthe building into luxury apartments have
groundto
a halt.
With
derelict edificeslike these
and
the violent protests seen inrecent months, it
is
no
wonder that outsiders are quick to draw gloomy conclusions about the city's economy.A walk
through Madrid's
weavinglabyrinth
of
smaller streets tells a differ
ent
story.
If
the
past
decade was
characterised
by
grandiose infrastructure
projects, the city
is
now undergoing a
dif-
ferent type
of
makeover
and
the sound
of
construction now echoes from countlessnew shops, bars
and
restaurants springing
up
acrossthe inner city.Today the activity
is
largelygrass roots.
After
losing
their
jobs
and
facing adismal job market,
manyyoung,edu
cated
and
increasingly
frustrated
Madrileiios are looking elsewhere.
Withunemployment at
astaggering 25.I
per
cent, some job seekersare optingto opensmall businesses to survive.Buoyed byreducedrental prices
and
often backedwith finance fromfamily,this new generation
of
businessowners
is
inadvertentlytransforming Madrid.City
I06-
ISSUE
59
01
council figures reveal
that
I I,262 businesseswerecreated in
20II,
with 2012
numbers
showing
a
gradual
upward
trendtoward
pre-crisis levels.
Madridmayor
Ana Botella
is
resolute.
"Entrepreneurs
hold the key
and
the
Madrid
city council will therefore do
all
it can toadvocate their central role
in both
society
and
on the political agenda," she says.
Many
of
these
entrepreneurs
haveflocked
to the
hospitality sector.
An
tonio Santiago, 30,
opened
his
barand
restaurant Circo de las Tapas two yearsago.
With
a
background
in advertising,he
is
new to the industry
but
judgingbythe constant crowds here, his risk seemsto have
paid
off. Antonio inspected 6ovenues before settling
on
the
run-down
street
and
since opening has witnessedthe area flourish, with
at
least five similarnewbusinesses opening.
"There
has
been an
explosion
of
creativity
from
young
Spanish
people since
the
crisis
and
small theatre spaces,
modern
restaurants and clothing stores are regeneratingentire neighbourhoods," hesays.Silvana
Cordobes,
also
from the
advertising world,
opened
cafe-delicatessen
Motha
,together with
her partner
and
Argentine
chef
Daniel
Golinelli.With a focus
on
organic food,thecouple
run
a thriving catering wing
and
ecofriendly cooking workshops.
Cordobes
exemplifies a growing
trend
in
the
city
01
OUJl(
Clrco
:.2
l
llSili
lasT<
San
the
neigt
Entre
officE
Em
pi
Dan"
Silva!
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Mo
Lund
MothMadr
as
ha
centr
03
 
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~
il.
r
i3
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.
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..
J
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~·
Antonio Santiago,
.
-;..!~
"
....
~
,
l;
·~
founderand owner
of
~
.
Circa de las Tapas
,,
;
/;
''
~
.
,
'
02
Inside
El
Circa de
t,,
"
lasTapas
'...
t!f.
'
'
1-
03
San lldefonso Square,
..
~
inthe Malasafia
:.;
neighbourhood
:3
Entrepreneurs withofficesat Madrid
.
v
Emprende
I
·\
>If.(/
1
Daniel Golinelli and
I
SilvanaCordobes,founders
of
Motha cafe
00
Motha
,7
Lunchtimetrade atMothaMadridEmprende,asharedworkspacecentre
in
Carabanchel
,.,.
~
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.(.
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6,
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.~,
~A
o\-~-
N:;
'
,
_
.::,;
...
,
W,j
l-
-Madrileiios
who
once enjoyed stablesalaries have
been cut
loose
andpro-
pelled
to
go solo.
With them
they
are
revitalising
outdated
ideas
about
customer service
and
openinghours.Cordobes
is
quicktohighlightthe
dif-
ficultiesthough,with bureaucraticdelays
and
local government regulations.A provisionallicencehasbeen hanging
on
thewall since June
and
she has
no
indication
of
when
it
willbecome
permanent
.
The
city council introduced
temporary
"ex-
press" licencesthisyear in
an
attempttostreamline the tedious bureaucracy.Privatising the registration processhasalsoreduced waiting periods from one year toaboutthree months
but
furtherimprove
ment
is
needed.
Madrid'smunicipal
leaders havesought
to reset
the
business culture inthe city.
One
of
their firstmoves was tocreate
Madrid Emprende
-
the
city'snetwork
of
small business
incubators
.Designed
and
builtwith public
mone
y,
they
are
managed
byprivate
compa-
nies
and
business schools.
With
strainedpublic
budgets, government
subsidies
ISSUE
59 -
107

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