Skip to main content

Start-ups, entrepreneurs and the new economy

ECONOMIC REACTIVATION MEASURES

Check out all the resources available to startups for tackling the COVID-19 crisis: subsidies and other economic measures for new business projects in the face of the global pandemic, legal-guidance and tax- and business-advice resources for entrepreneurs, online courses and training programmes and other economic-revival resources.

Financial aid

  • The Business Funding Service has been strengthened, so it can support self-employed persons, businesses and associations that need financial resources to deal with cash-flow problems or mid- and long-term funding. This service provides support during the application procedure for the grants and specific lines of funding for COVID-19.

    Non-stop service

  • The Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) has joined forces with the water companies supplying its 36 municipalities to offer a programme of financial subsidies to help SMEs and the self-employed pay their water bills and the metropolitan waste disposal tax (TMTR).

    The new discount package is aimed at companies with fewer than 50 workers and an annual turnover below 8 million euros, as well as at the self-employed.

    Families whose income has dropped because of the current crisis are also entitled to social discounts on water bills and the TMTR.

    Further information (CA)

  • Barcelona City Council has approved the terms of a new grant scheme for projects working against the feminisation of poverty - in other words, projects that aim to reduce poverty and precariousness among women - endowed with a total of €150,000 euros for 2020 and 2021. The measure is part of the social shock plan to combat the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, an emergency that has affected women more due to their more vulnerable starting point before the crisis.

    The aid for projects against the feminisation of poverty is in addition to the various support mechanisms for non-profit organisations already working against the effects of Covid-19. In relation to this, the City Council has put together an aid package with a €500,000 investment for those solidarity initiatives that have worked on food projects during Covid-19. These grants, which range from €10,000 to €12,000 in value, will be awarded to grassroots organisations in order to reach around forty organisations that have kept their food services in operation or launched new ones during the hardest times of the pandemic.

    At the same time, and with the aim of combating precariousness and facilitating empowerment, a new edition of the programme “Dones amunt” [“Women Up”] will take place between late 2020 and early 2021 with the creation of five new groups of women in the neighbourhoods of Ciutat Meridiana, Besòs, Roquetes, El Poble-sec and either El Raval or Trinitat Vella.

    Last updated: 24/07/2020

  • Barcelona City Council’s development agency Barcelona Activa, working in collaboration with the Catalan Institute of Finances and the Catalan Mutual Guarantee Society, has launched a programme with 1,000 micro-loans of €12,500 each, to support micro-SMEs and self-employed people affected by COVID-19. The micro-loans must be repaid within a period of five years, the first year being a period of grace, and with a variable interest rate (EURIBOR 12 months +1.85%). 

    Last updated: 31/05/2021

  • In order to promote employment and business activity, Mercabarna has launched a €5,700 grant for food or flower companies that hire young people who have just graduated from state schools or unemployed professionals trained at Mercabarna.

    Last updated: 27/12/2020

  • Risk capital fund for encouraging investments in entrepreneurial projects. Barcelona City Council will be allocating €50 million, through Barcelona Activa and six local risk capital funds, to fund the city’s start-ups. Ten million euros of municipal investment will be multiplied through these funds and thus help to boost the city’s innovative start-ups, as well as protect the entrepreneurial and digital ecosystem's competitiveness from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is aimed at boosting innovative sectors that wish to grow in Barcelona to consolidate it as a digital, entrepreneurial city. 

    Last updated: 17/05/2021

  • The city’s general grants for 2021 include €1.6 million specifically for trade. There are three categories, which focus on commercial revitalisation, professional support and digitisation.

    Last updated: 27/12/2020

  • This initiative, the purpose of which is to help businesses to resume their activity, provides incentives for recruiting unemployed persons who have special difficulties accessing the labour market. This year's call for subsidy applications continues, with €5,000 for every unemployed person resident in the city hired, and €6,000 for young people, those over the age of 45 and women. The employment contracts must be for full-time work, for at least 6 months and from businesses with their work centre in the metropolitan area, with special attention paid to people under the age of 30 and over the age of 45. 

    Subsidy application period: from April to November 2021.

    Last updated: 17/05/2021

  • Barcelona City Council has opened its fifth “Impulsem el que fas” [We promote what you do] call, through Barcelona Activa, for applications for subsidies to finance projects that boost the economy in Barcelona’s neighbourhoods and districts. The subsidies can cover up to 80% of a project’s total budget, with a maximum subsidy of 50,000 euros.

    Regional-based projects are being sought that boost entrepreneurship and enterprise, revitalisation of ground-floor commercial premises, socio-economic innovation, quality jobs, responsible and sustainable tourism, responsible consumption, sustainable agri-food models, creative industries and logistics with zero-emission vehicles.

  • Call for subsidy applications for music promoters to enable them to bear the operational costs of concerts to be held in Olympic Ring and Fòrum venues, in order to revive the country’s music scene, a key part of our culture. Allocation of technical equipment for events that ensures compliance with every measure and optimises operational resources to the full.

    Term: until 30 September 2021.

  • To improve the presence of shops in the digital environment and also make them more competitive by adapting to the new times, the Barcelona City Council Department of Commerce, Restaurants and Consumer Affairs is allocating €1 million to fund investment projects in digital marketing, websites, online shops and digital signage, among other things. The subsidies will be for 50% of the total amount of the project and must not be in excess €6,000.

    Term: 31 March to 13 May 2021.

    Last updated: 17/05/2021

  • Call for grant applications for urban innovation in the form of financial and technical resources for implementing projects that meet the current urban challenges and which have a real, tangible short-term impact on people’s quality of life and on the city. 

    Term: May 2021. 

    Last updated: 17/5/2021

  • The call includes grants for commercial establishments carrying out work in their shops that is key in shaping Barcelona’s urban landscape. It also includes specific sections aimed at protected and unprotected historical premises.

    Term: until 30 November 2021.

    Last updated: 17/5/2021

  • They are aimed at launching comprehensive intervention projects intended for the social and vocational integration or return to the regulated educational system of young people at risk of exclusion or in a vulnerable situation.

    Last updated: 17/5/2021

ADVICE

  • Fancy starting up a new business? Barcelona Activa’s Entrepreneurial Service will provide you with support and help throughout the process. You will have us at your side during these complex times and we will make your project as feasible as possible.

    Non-stop service

  • Barcelona Activa would like to support you, to get your project growing. Which is why we offer you an advisory service, aimed at self-employed people and social and solidarity economy enterprises and organisations, on issues relating to incorporations, funding, talent management, transfers, internationalisation and digital transformations of your projects, among other issues.

    Non-stop service

  • Queries on the shock plan are answered and local support can be offered through this form.

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

  • The intention of this guide was to create a document for analysing the problems specific to each type of cultural event or activity, in order to draw out a set of criteria enabling them to go ahead but adapted to the basic prevention and protection measures against the possible spread of COVID-19 infections.

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

  • Specialist advice for companies, self-employed individuals, start-ups, cooperatives, and organisations or associations linked to the city's sports sector, to inform them of the financial aid and resources made available to them by the City Council and other government bodies and institutions to mitigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the feasibility of their business or sports projects.

    The service will be provided by Barcelona Activa’s Business Support Office (OAE) through the Call Centre set up for this purpose, with telephone number: 900 533 175 (9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday)

  • The Barcelona International Welcome website offers a welcome service for foreign nationals moving to the city, in particular international talent wishing to establish themselves in the city and embark on an economic or professional activity. It offers information and resources to help them settle in and establish themselves here, such as practical information on everyday aspects (housing, healthcare), procedures that have to be carried out when moving to the city (foreign-national registration, city-residence registration, healthcare card), documents and other useful resources.

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

  • A comprehensive advisory and support service for employment inclusion, aimed at companies with a future vision and commitments to employment inclusion. 

    The service is made up of a team of professional experts in the area of employment inclusion from the Barcelona Network for Employment Inclusion (XIB).

    The service offers the following:

    • Information on the social and corporate benefits of employment inclusion.
    • Support for individuals and companies with recruitment processes and in the workplace.
    • Information and advice on accessibility in the work environment.
    • Training initiatives for ensuring inclusion.

    You can contact the Inclou Futur service. 

    Further information

    Permanent service

  • A new online information service lists all the financial and support resources specially directed at micro-companies, SMEs, the self-employed and workers, the groups that are worst affected by the drop in turnover during the state of emergency. It also provides its service to any company, cooperative, organisation or association that requests it.

    The web portal includes a packet of services, actions and aid specifically designed to tackle this temporary period of uncertainty, lack of liquidity and general cessation of activity.

    The new service covers resources offered by the City Council, the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish Government

    Barcelona Activa information service (CA)

  • specialist unit has been launched to help self-employed people, micro-enterprises, SMEs and cooperatives obtain financial aid for dealing with the covid-19 crisis.

    The new unit is coordinated from Barcelona Activa's Business Advice Office (OAE).

    The service analyses each business to ascertain its needs and what special aid it is eligible for. This aid includes grants from organisations such as the Official Credit Institute (ICO), the Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) and the financial facilities available from banks.

    The businesses most likely to use this support service are expected to be those relating to trade, tourism and the creative industries, among others.

    This new measure is in addition to the service which provides advice and information on other non-exclusive financial aid from other public bodies.

    Barcelona Activa

    Latest update 05/05/2020

  • Free, individualized and confidential service aimed at young people up to 35 years old, who want to start their own business.

    At this specialized service, our experts will offer you:

    • Support in the definition of the business plan, step by step.
    • Advice on all those key legal and economic issues to boost your business.
    • All the existing resources in the city aimed at young entrepreneurs.

    Contact information

    Phone: 662 333 350

    Whatsapp: 697 436 097

    Email: infojove@bcn.cat

    PIJ de Barcelona Facebook and Twitter

    Further information

    Last updated 10/07/2020

  • We provide personalised support for small enterprises, start-ups, self-employed individuals, shops and organisations from the social and solidarity economy so they can establish a strategic business plan that enables them to speed up the economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 context.

    Last updated: 19/05/2021

  • We get closer to your business in order to advise you. Through Barcelona Activa, we help you design a new business strategy to put your business on the right path, adopt new marketing models or develop new formulas to increase demand.

    Last updated: 27/12/2020

  • This is a specialist and personalised service for informing and supporting SSE enterprises and organisations: from how to start up a project to how to improve it and obtain funding. Coordinated with the ecosystem’s services, operators and players, this service identifies opportunities and detects difficulties, besides offering tools and expert support in specific areas.

    Last updated: 19/05/2021

  • The Technology Park is offering this service to provide strategic and flexible support for companies and entrepreneurs at every stage of the prototyping process.

    Ask for the service if you need support or guidance on:

    • Strategy, support and tools for business prototyping plans
    • Using the Technology Park’s digital manufacturing tools

    Further information

    Last updated: 22/02/2021

  • Barcelona Activa has five specialist environments for promoting entrepreneurial projects.

    • Glòries Business Incubator: a space for helping start-ups in operation for under five years, located in Barcelona.
    • Almogàvers Incubator: space aimed at developing new enterprises from the public-private entity environment.
    • MediaTIC Incubator: a specialist space for providing support for high-impact technology companies.
    • Technology Park: the most important part of the Technology Park is the Technology Businesses Centre, a space that promotes and drives technological and responsible business growth.
    • The InnoBadora: a service located in InnoBA, the Barcelona Centre for Socio-Economic Innovation, for socio-economic innovation projects that wish to develop within a collaborative environment.

    Last updated: 22/02/2021

  • Expert support and assistance service offering young people aged between 16 and 35 work guidance and tools to help with their job hunting and employability.

    Last updated: 2/3/2021

  • Technical-support service specialising in implementing improvements in the presence of enterprises in the Internet, and in communication and online marketing strategies, sales channels and the digitisation of enterprises’ management processes. The service starts with an initial diagnosis; it then studies the drafting of a digitisation plan and includes support for its implementation and monitoring.

    Last updated: 19/05/2021

  • To strengthen and foster innovation among organisations and enterprises that have — or are incorporating — social and solidarity economy practices and values, we are revising the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the various areas and, depending on the results, we are reinventing and redesigning the areas, services or products that have to be transformed to encourage a firm reactivation.

    Term: from February to June 2021.

    Last updated: 18/05/2021

  • We’ll come over to your shop and give you totally free advice advise, not just on how to establish a new business strategy but also on how to put your business back on its feet, adopt new marketing models and develop new formulas for incentivising demand, always respecting your work pace.

    Last updated: 19/05/2021

  • This is an initiative that consists of personalised digitisation plans, online training (p. X) and a call for grant applications (p. X). Thanks to the support of a specialist technical team, you will be able to plan your business’s entry into the digital world, continue enhancing your digital skills and find out how to apply them to your shop or restaurant.

    Last updated: 19/05/2021

  • This is a service available that Barcelona City Council makes available to the city’s sports sector, through the Barcelona Institute of Sports, to provide free support in managing its projects and activities. It offers a support and advice programme for managing the various procedures that sports sector entities carry out with the public authorities, such as subsidies, grants and participation in administrative invitations to tender. It also has a training programme at its disposal in employment, legal, accounting, communication and environmental-management issues.

    Non-stop service

  • This is a programme launched by Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Activa and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) for the digital acceleration of projects, organisations and enterprises that are working — or wish to work — under environmental-impact, social and good-governance measures. Integrated into the Barcelona UOC Chair in Digital Economy, it works on digitisation as a resource for community creating (platforming) and socio-economic transformation.

    Term: from April to December 2021.

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

  • These are events that provide a direct contact space between enterprises with job offers and candidates with participatory dynamics and brief interviews. They are tailor made for enterprises and specifically for business sectors. 
    Term: as of June 2021.

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

  • If you’re an entrepreneur or you have now finished your professional journey with the enterprise you run, Barcelona Activa is launching an advisory service to connect you and encourage continuity in existing enterprises.

    Term: throughout 2021.

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

  • Aimed at strengthening the sustainable textile sector and making it more competitive from a social, environmental and business point of view, this plan offers a specialist advisory service for projects and organisations to broaden training in this field and foster inter-cooperation and the social market.

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

TRAINING

  • Thanks to Barcelona Activa we have launched the Virtual Classroom, a training space where educational teams stream their classes online, so you can have your say, make real-time consultations and interact with fluency.

    Non-stop service

  • Discover training, through Barcelona Activa, grouped by thematic categories and adapted to your pace and needs.

    Non-stop service

  • The Barcelona International Welcome website offers a welcome service for foreign nationals moving to the city, in particular international talent wishing to establish themselves in the city and embark on an economic or professional activity. It offers information and resources to help them settle in and establish themselves here, such as practical information on everyday aspects (housing, healthcare), procedures that have to be carried out when moving to the city (foreign-national registration, city-residence registration, healthcare card), documents and other useful resources.

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

  • In order to narrow the digital gap, Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa, has launched various lines of action in the area of technological training.

    • Shift to online training during the Covid-19 crisis, through the use of Virtual Classrooms, in order to ensure knowledge of the necessary technological skills to deal with the current situation.
    • Prioritising on-site training, when circumstances permit, for those groups who do not have access to Internet.
    • Inclusion of IT literacy in all employment programmes, given its relevance to job seeking.
    • Introduction of free courses, workshops and master classes in ICT training at the Cibernàrium, for beginners, advanced and specialised levels. Find out more here.

     

    Last updated: 18/08/2020

  • As part of the initiative supporting the digital transformation of shops and restaurants, Barcelona Activa has designed a training catalogue to help the commercial fabric and restaurant sector to take the leap into the digital world. With fifty courses available, you have no excuse for being left behind!

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

PROMOTION

  • Barcelona City Council will be turning the ground floor premises at the Palau de la Virreina (Rambla, 99), where the Rambles Ticket Office is located, into the new Citizen Culture Office, a new reception space for providing support and offering advice to the city’s cultural fabric.

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

  • This personalised card will let you enter and leave the car park of your choice, from the BSM Parking network, as many times as you like for either 15 or 30 consecutive days. All you need to is choose the car park and book the days you need, at the best price and with a guaranteed place. If you purchase it online using the code bsmle20, you will receive a 20% discount.

    Last updated: 20/05/2021

  • Created to boost city residents’ cultural consumption and help the cultural sector, one of the sectors that has had the most difficulties since the start of the pandemic. These are valid in every cultural venue or establishment in Barcelona that has joined the initiative and they can be used to purchase theatre, cinema and music tickets as well as book vouchers. Reactivem la cultura [We're reactivating culture].

    Last updated: 18/05/2021

  • Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa, has injected €6 million into a plan to boost employment in the city in order to combat the impact of the pandemic, protect employment and encourage the creation of quality jobs, immediately and as an extraordinary measure. The shock plan includes a €4.2 million endowment from a Covid fund to deal with the pandemic and €1.8 million to be allocated to extraordinary employment plans to help achieve the city’s social and economic recovery.

    The lines of action for the short term or for 2020, which are carried out by the CECORE Economic Response Coordination Centre, are:

    • A new set of recruitment grants for new contracts of at least six months duration.
    • Online professional technical training actions for workers in traditional sectors adapted to new digital jobs, which have better employability and job creation prospects.
    • A Youth Employment Shock Plan, with a package of measures to help young people join the world of work, including mentoring actions and tailor-made training, reinforcing projects planned with the Catalonia Employment Service.
    • Recruitment by the public administration of people who are unemployed and have special difficulties.
    • Holding a trade fair in September to reactivate employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
    • Activation of projects for support and the reactivation of the local economy in neighbourhoods and districts, with grants of up to 80% of the project.

     

    Last updated: 24/07/2020

  • The Neighbourhood Plan has adapted the various programmes in the neighbourhoods in which it is being implemented to provide a comprehensive response to the crisis caused by Covid-19. The various actions being carried out have been fundamentally redirected in their response to socio-economic, education, leisure and digital skills acquisition problems as well as those relating to the provision of care in the family.

    Under the socio-economic plan, this July the Neighbourhood Plan will deploy up to seven offices in total to help local residents apply for the various grants specifically made available to address the socio-economic crisis caused by Covid-19. The initiative is aimed at local residents of the areas in which the action is being carried out who have seen their financial situation worsen due to Covid-19, which has hit the city’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods hardest.

    Last updated: 24/07/2020

  • Barcelona City Council has announced the Agreement for Barcelona, a new tool for making the most of the city’s potential to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and provide a new boost for the city in agreement with the agents of the city’s economic, social, education, cultural, sporting and scientific sectors, and with a metropolitan perspective.

    The Agreement is a collective commitment and proposal to help find a positive way out of the crisis above all other considerations, working more intensively and together in relation to the main priorities that should help us advance towards Barcelona’s economic and social recovery in the next eighteen months while continuing to carry out the necessary transformations towards environmental sustainability.

    Ten Main Goals

    The Agreement for Barcelona includes ten goals on which the great pacts to give a boost to the city are to be built. They are as follows:

     

    • To reactivate and strengthen Barcelona’s production and commercial sectors ​​as the main elements for revitalising the economy and the creation of jobs.
    • To commit to resilient and innovative economic sectors, supporting diversification, thanks to the acceleration of the city’s digital transformation and technological capacity.
    • To boost community action by reinforcing social services and constructing them together with entities and the social fabric, in order to address the crisis and the new vulnerabilities that have now been added to existing inequalities, with a commitment to the role of care in our society.
    • To turn housing into an economic, social and environmental response to the crisis.
    • To strengthen the city’s healthcare and biomedical system, helping improve the public’s health and consolidate Barcelona as a safe and advanced city that is a leader in the provision of healthcare.
    • To make progress towards a new urban model with a more local basis, giving new impetus to sustainable mobility, renaturalisation and the reduction of emissions, and reasserting the commitment to address the climate emergency.
    • To make a commitment to build an education system and an education network in which equal opportunities are guaranteed and that constitute the basic tool for ensuring social equity. To boost the city’s science capital and its value for the definition of future strategies, and to consolidate Barcelona as a research centre.
    • To promote access to culture by strengthening the city’s cultural and creative capital as Barcelona’s first-class heritage, a factor for cohesion and international visibility. To guarantee universal access to sport for all citizens as a tool for health and the creation of association networks.
    • To reactivate the city as a high-quality, safe and sustainable urban tourist destination and a centre of professional exchange and talent recruitment and retention.
    • To consolidate Barcelona’s active role in the international arena, committing to city networks, cooperation and multilateralism.

     

    Last updated: 24/07/2020

  • Barcelona City Council is going to set up an integrated mechanism for seeking and capturing some of the European Funds announced under the European Reconstruction Funds framework. Its aim is to submit projects that will enable the city to make further progress in the ecological transition, the digital transition and economic promotion by actively influencing job creation and the city’s economic and social revival.

    In other words, the Council is going to start up a Joint Office led by the economic and international areas that will have the task of identifying funds as well as supporting the certification and presentation processes of city projects that could be eligible for European Reconstruction Fund funding.

    Last updated: 29/07/2020

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

  • The City Council has eased the conditions and time limits for subsidies to be awarded, the goal being to streamline payment periods and speed up the injection of liquidity for companies, organisations and the self-employed which benefit from them.

    The priority is to optimise feasibility so that subsidised activities can be carried out.

    The measures include bringing forward payments to before the period for challenges and amendments in the general call, subsidising certain overheads even if the object of the subsidy has not been carried out or increasing the value of the subsidy in exceptional cases from the usual maximum of 50% to 80%.

    With regard to the justification of subsidies, the deadline is also being extended until 30 September 2020.

    Approval will also now be possible for new subsidy calls for situations strictly linked to the state of emergency for Covid-19. In these cases, time limits will not be suspended.

    Further informationFurther information. Open in a new window (CA)

  • Given the serious financial difficulties being experienced by businesses and the self-employed due to Covid-19, Barcelona City Council has reduced the time it takes to pay invoices received in March and April. These invoices will now be paid twenty days after they were presented via the official registry.

    The purpose of this measure is to provide municipal suppliers with maximum liquidity in as little time as possible, to ensure maximum business survival.

    In all, 1,921 invoices have been paid with a total value of €45,102,176.

    Further information (ES)

    Latest updated 05/05/2020

  • Taking the interpretation of byelaws following the situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the purposes of encouraging the economic feasibility of restaurant and café businesses, we are extending the 75% reduction of the terrace tax until the end of 2021. This measure will lead to €7 million reduction in municipal income.

    Last updated: 18/05/2021

  • According to the sector, we have reduced rates by 75% for the beach bars that have opened this season and which have enabled the longer to extend.

    Last updated: 18/05/2021

Share in social networks

Reactivating the economy

Financial aid, employment and business advice, training, regulations and so on. Select your profile and explore all the tools and resources that we have been implementing to tackle the COVID-19 economic crisis. Barcelona never stops!

Download the complete guide
Go to start