To be an entrepreneur, two conditions must be met: having a dream and be brave enough to fight for it until the end. Believe us when we say that the road is not easy, but the reward is priceless. And if being an entrepreneur is not easy, it is even more complicated when you are an immigrant. In this obstacle course, you will also have to start from nothing in a new country, adapt yourself to cultural or linguistic differences, fight against stereotypes and above all being far from your loved-ones, your greatest support. Fortunately, when it comes to dreams, the immigrant entrepreneurs know no borders nor barriers!
At Moneytrans, we would like to pay tribute to all those brave people who dared to take a step forward and realise their dreams with our 2019 Moneytrans Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. An opportunity to give visibility to the work of the immigrant entrepreneurs. An opportunity to break down prejudices and show the great value that immigrants are bringing to our society. An opportunity to highlight projects with a soul. And, above all, these awards are a reward for all your work and your courage!
After months of organisation by the all the Moneytrans team, the Moneytrans Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards ceremony finally took place on Friday 26th of April at the Ilunion Hotel in Málaga. An event that benefited from the support of leading organisations in the field of entrepreneurship such as Andalucía Emprende, Amupema, Promálaga, Málaga Acoge, Cepaim, the Tomillo Foundation, Natik Lum, the Andalusian Institute of Financial Studies and AJE Málaga.
A very enriching meeting
The event welcomed more than a hundred people from all over the country, including the candidates, the representatives of the organisations and of course, the Moneytrans family. But without any doubt, the real protagonists of the day were the 15 semi-finalists who managed to find their place among the best projects. Throughout the afternoon, we were able to attend the conferences of the Andalusian Institute of Financial Studies and the Nantik Lum Foundation. We also had the pleasure of listening the cases of successful entrepreneurship from the Nigerian businesswoman Orobola Akinradewo and the Senegalese Mamadou Saliou. They are proof that dreams can come true with work and efforts. They are proof that immigrants make great contribution to our societies!
That’s why, there was no better time to present our “Migrantema” (My big theme) campaign, a video in which immigrants of several nationalities are telling what they want to achieve despite some established social beliefs. Our great theme? Always be at your side! We wanted to make everyone participate, so we decided to add a fun touch by offering, among other gifts, a t-shirt with the campaign slogan “My great theme is…” that needed to be completed. We distributed markers and everyone started to write!
On top of this, we also enjoyed a workshop with Carlos Cosmes from Mentor Day on how to present projects successfully. And later, it was our semi-finalists that had to present their own projects to the jury with only three minutes to convince them that they deserved to be finalists. Do you want to know the winning projects? Keep reading!
Our jury was composed of Ricardo Nandwani (president of AJE Málaga), Macarena Regueira (president of Amupena), Eva Pérez (representative of Promálaga), Alberto de Azevedo (representative of Andalucía Emprende) and Alberto Quintana (head of Moneytrans’ sales department).
Our semi-finalists did not make it any easier but at the end, only one of each category could stay. These were the winners!
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
To Neyvi Tolentino and her intelligent robot that help immigrants on issues related to immigration.
Neyvi Tolentino, originally from the Dominican Republic won the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award with her project Tolentino Abogados. Her project, born in Madrid is helping thousands of people with free web consultations as well as offering a 24-hour service for emergency cases thanks to her intelligent robot named Roberta!
Women Entrepreneur Award
To Natalia Irena Gladysz with her Applaudi project, a mobile application that makes theatre accessible to everyone!
Applaudi was born to attract more people to the theatre and fill the theatre halls! Applaudi is an application that aims at providing a theatre without sensory or linguistic barriers, which would be accessible to people with hearing and visual disabilities thanks to audio description. This project thus makes Spain a pioneer in the technological progress of real-time theatre translation using voice recognition technology and thus attracting foreign audiences.
Social Entrepreneur Award
To Juliana Maruri who is committed to a sustainable, economic and environmentally conscious future with Bagloop’s reusable and ethical bags!
Bagloop was born from the mission to change people’s habits by offering an alternative solution to disposable and polluting products on the market and with the aim of promoting solidarity work and insertion offering professional opportunities to people at risk of exclusion. As a mother and an entrepreneur, Juliana had to go through many complex situations. She works with high quality ecological cotton made with 100% recycled fibres. This cotton therefore reduces the consumption of CO2, water and polluting substances and in addition, can be recycled again.
Young Entrepreneur Award
To Andreea Dragomir with Meraki Design, a fun way of wearing designs that reflect Catalonia’s traditions!
Her designs attempt to represent the traditions and local folklore of Barcelona staring funny characters. Meraki is reference in Greek to “the work of love”, a work that needs a part of your soul to be completed, a concept based on love and creativity!
Best Entrepreneurial Idea Award
To Andrea Frigerio and Mercedes Álvarez and their concept named La Cuchara Verde, an alternative, vegetarian and healthy restaurant!
With this project, they promote a healthier diet without having to give up free time, a more sustainable and ethical diet that strikes a balance between taking care of oneself and respecting nature. They offer an integral solution for restaurants, specialised shops and private individuals with special requirements (intolerances, vegans, etc.) based on innovative gastronomic experiences of high quality with 100% organic vegetable products. And all this without sacrificing flavours and textures by ensuring products packaged without preservatives or additives.
The person in charge of distributing the awards to all these women could not be other than the one who launched this initiative, our Country Manager in Spain, Leticia Carbajo. All of them won a 6-month subscription to ATA (the Association of Self-Employed Workers), coaching sessions with Psinergia Coaching, a place in the prestigious Mentor Day class and a full year of free money transfers with Moneytrans! Moreover, the “Young Entrepreneur” category included a 6-month subscription to the AJE. As for the winners of the “Best Entrepreneurial Idea” category, they could also enjoy a package of digital marketing services through Muxo marketing thanks to Promálaga and a check of 2.000 € from Moneytrans in order to give a boost to their business and help it become a successful project. We are sure of this!
They also received our Moneytrans award, but not any one. We wanted it to be special, to represent the meaning of these awards. We decided to have it made by an artist who is also an immigrant, Vladimir Castro who knew how to reflect in this award, in the form of a tree life, the most important thing for each of the immigrants: their roots! Their roots that have grown, that have extended and that have overcome adversity to bear fruits in our country!
Of course, we also want to thank each and every one of the semi-finalists. Because Enedina and Julián González, Yarismar Elisdey, Augustin Ndour, Carlos M. Guamán, Jennifer Vélez, Massimo Angelini, Gerardo Cortés, Mamadou Saliou, Antonine Blondiaux and Tanya Ivanova, you not only took home a medal for your participation, but also our total admiration!
More than an award
When we began organising these awards, we were convinced that it was a great opportunity to make the work of immigrant entrepreneurs visible and contribute to remove the obstacles they face every day. After, a day full of emotions, discussions, rewards and exchanges over dinner, we want to thank those who made this dream possible. From the botton of our heart, thank you!
“Facing problems happens to all of us, but turning these problems into solutions is the key to success. – Neyvi Toletino, winner of the 2019 Moneytrans Entrepreneur of the Year Award. “