Spanish business leaders maintain silence

Spain is in the grip of election fever. With less than a week to go before polling day on March 9, the campaign is receiving blanket media coverage, while politicians on the hustings talk themselves hoarse. But the countryâ??s business community remains quiet. Unlike in other western countries, Spainâ??s corporate figures will not publicly endorse candidates. Nor is it acceptable to criticise the government during an election campaign. And, if Spainâ??s business leaders are natural allies of the opposition Popular party (PP), they are discreet in their support.

The reasons for this seeming political impartiality at election time are manifold, say experts. Culturally, it is considered bad taste in Spain for business leaders to make public their grievances with government policy. Most lobbying efforts are channelled less directly, through business associations or private meetings.
However, this public neutrality is also motivated by fear, according to Fernando Casado, general manager of the Family Business Institute in Madrid. â??There is still quite a bit of political intervention in the Spanish economy,â? he says. â??Itâ??s not in any chief executiveâ??s interest to favour one side or the other. It could cost you business.â?

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IE Business School presents the GEM Spain Report for 2007

gem1.jpgEntrepreneurial activity in Spain grew by 4.11% in 2007, as shown by the results of the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Report, the leading international observatory on entrepreneurial activity worldwide.

Experts from IE Business School lead the Spanish arm of the project, sponsored by the Department for SMEs at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Banesto and the Incyde Foundation. The presentation of the new edition of the GEM Report took place on Thursday, February 28, 2008 at IE Business Schoolâ??s Madrid campus, and was attended by Spainâ??s General Secretary for Industry Joan Trullén, the Spanish Director General of Policy for SMEs, María Callejón, and other key players from the field of entrepreneurship.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that there was moderate growth of entrepreneurial activity in Spain 2007. The TEA (Total Entrepreneurial Activity), an index used to measure the number of business start-ups, stands at 7.6% for 2007 in comparison with 7.3% for the previous year. This rate of growth places Spain in 4th position among EU countries and 8th among the OCDE countries analyzed by the GEM Report. Moreover, the â??death rateâ? of business start-ups in Spain has dropped by 16.6%, pointing to higher rates of consolidation. In the words of Ignacio de la Vega, Director of the GEM Report in Spain and Professor at IE Business School, â??2007 was a good year for entrepreneurial activity as a whole. In addition to an increase with regard to 2006, which saw spectacular rates of growth, business start-ups are growing in quality and dimension, and are based on increasingly solid business models which translate directly into a marked drop in business death ratesâ?.

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The profit of sustainable design

The ecologIE initiative at IE Business School is organizing conference on sustainable design, examining sustainable design as an economically viable and profitable option. Date: 6 March 2008 (19:00 to 20:30 hours) Cocktail: 20:30 to 21:30 Place: Aula Magna, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain Audience:  Students and alumni of IE Business School, IE University and Madrid-based…

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Accenture, IE Business School and Morgan Stanley publish study on Private Banking in Spain

The private banking industry moves 610,000 million Euros per annum, of which only 36% is in the hands of specialised financial service providers, according to a survey conducted by Accenture, IE Business School, and Morgan Stanley: â??Trends and strategies in the private banking sector in Spain II: The clientâ?. The report was prepared in collaboration…

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