Barcelona Activa is one of the best things the local government does for self-employed workers in Barcelona. This organisation can provide you with information, training and even a co-working space to start off your entrepreneurial activities.
To access the vast majority of the services (excluding the Cybernarium), you’ll first have to attend an introductory welcome session at the offices in C/Llacuna 162-164. After having attended, you’ll be sent a password to access the website’s facilities.
The session I attended was in Castilian Spanish. Although I understand sessions are normally held in Catalan, I think someone had asked beforehand if the session could be held in mainstream Spanish that day. The presenter I had didn’t have any problems with this and was, she said, “happy to be flexible”, although presumably this could depend on who you happen to get on the day. You’ll also find an online “Welcome Session” in English.
What does Barcelona Activa provide?
Useful things provided by Barcelona Activa include seminars about topics like business plans, marketing, finance, legal procedures and the entrepreneur as a person. You can see a list of seminars in English here.
You’ll also find information about co-working spaces here. I believe these have a cost, but are subsidised by the government.
One of the most useful aspects of Barcelona Activa, and one which anyone can access, is the Cibernarium. These guys offer high-quality IT training in things like Google AdWords, Photoshop, etc. The majority of the sessions are free, but make sure you sign up fast as they can often fill up within minutes. You don’t have to have attended the welcome session to sign up to the classes at the Cibernarium.
The presenter of my welcome session mentioned that, once upon a time, she was able to give out lots of information about the kinds of grants that might be available, too, but since the country has fallen on hard times there’s less to say.
Text and photos by Penelope