Entrevista a Carme Moreno, docente de Business and entrepreneurship

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She is a teacher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), where she teaches in the Economics and Business Studies and also in the Communication and Information studies.

She is a Global Marketing, and researcher at the interdisciplinary research group i2TIC. Her research involves topics of entrepreneurship and innovation. She is an author of numerous articles in academic and economic magazines and author of numerous book chapters.

She graduated from Stanford Business School, and previously graduated from the London College of Fashion University, the University of Barcelona and the UOC.


Can you briefly describe your career?

To describe my career, it would be interesting if I introduce myself from the very beginning, from my childhood. When I was a child, at an early age (9) I started to feel very attracted to fashion, and before that (4-5) other traits in my personality such as sense of curiosity, social extroversion, talkative, passionate about every single dream I had…it drives me to what is today my career, and how it has been forged around all this.

Jumping then to 2006 after I finished my BBA, Bachelor degree in Economic & Business Sciences at UOC, I came into the banking retail industry where I spent a few years while my educational background was continuing. It was around 2012, when I finished the Executive Master in Fashion Retail Management, and then I switch from the banking sector into the Luxury Fashion industry.

After that, my professional career took two exciting paths: the entrepreneurial side and the academic side. Both, still now, are combined into a perfect fusion.

In 2008 I started my own business as a Marketing Consultant. The company was based in Barcelona, working globally in cities such as London, Tokyo, Bangkok, and finally the U.S.

In 2009 I joined the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya as a teacher and researcher, Marketing being the basic topic. Later on, I taught others topics such as eCommerce, Social Media, and Business and Entrepreneurship. My research involved topics of entrepreneurship and innovation.

In 2014 I joined the Women Entrepreneur of America, in the USA and one year after I became an International Chair for WEA.

Two years later I enrolled at Stanford Graduated Business School, an experience that motivated to me to start my second business in the USA.

So, I found myself at the end of this 2017 enjoying my four passions: fashion, marketing, education and research.


How do you value traveling and living in other countries to train as a professional?

Traveling by itself certainly enriches, culturizes, opens the mind, strengthens social skills, helps to be more organized and a better planner, but I see it more valuable for personal and professional development to live abroad for medium or long periods of time. Adapt to other ways of living and working, learning from other ways of understanding life, human relationships, work, business organization and time management, appreciating more aspects of life to which other cultures are given more importance, are just some of the many benefits of living and working in another country.

I highly recommended it, although it is not easy and often very challenging, the personal and professional benefits from improved communication skills or language skills, building confidence and self-reliance; developing independence and personality. And one of the biggest values for me working abroad is the fact it helps you create a great network of contacts. You meet many new people who can help you in your future both personally and professionally. You build relationships that can last a lifetime.


Is the entrepreneurial mindset in our country much different than it is living in the United States?

The differences between Spain and the USA are clearly significant. Compared to the USA, today Europe’s entrepreneurship development and its competitive performance is lacking far behind. Spain needs more enterprises, economic growth and entrepreneurs, who are willing to embark on innovative ventures, increase the economic growth level and open new job spaces. Being aware of this situation, Spain has already started to take the necessary steps to improve the actual situation by lowering taxes, etc., while the investing factor and hiring of employees must still be improved in order to motivate the entrepreneurial mindset, who are more than ready to follow their dreams.

But coming back to the core of the question, some of the biggest differences became clear in terms of percentage, if we compare the USA vs EU: In the USA the sense of risk is more natural, and also to fail is not associated in a negative way. In other words, more than 70% of Americans agree they are generally willing to take risks, compared with nearly 30% of Europeans as a whole. Also in the USA, they are more likely than others to agree they like situations in which they compete with others. More than three-quarters of Americans agree (77%), in contrast with about a half of EU citizens (55%).

It is clear cultural fact. In terms of business, an American person is more competitive, individual and in some ways more aggressive and focused on the market and these four are just some of the differences that exist between Americans and Spaniards in terms of certain beliefs and attitudes associated with entrepreneurship and their mindset.

In short, in terms of individual attitudes related to entrepreneurship, the U.S. from my point of view has a cultural advantage over Spain or even the European Union. Americans think of themselves as risk takers, competitive and able to accomplish difficult tasks.

It’s a desire to be self-employed and practical considerations such as available capital and training among other things. And this is the key, attitudes are related to actual entrepreneurial activity and how important attitudes are relative to other factors such as the desire to be self-employed and practical considerations such as available capital and training among other things.


Do you think anyone can be an entrepreneur?

In the Business and Entrepreneurship course, we dig deep not only into the definition by itself, but also to the approach to those skills, and knowledge that are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.

No one begins their journey as an entrepreneur, and equally nobody begins their entrepreneurial journey with all the tools that they would like. It requires a lot of discipline, confidence and a willingness to go beyond your comfort zone. As we saw before, risk and fail are some of the factors to face sooner or later.

It is necessary to have the right mindset, but also to be realistic – it takes time to undo all the limiting beliefs, habits and emotional responses that hinder your success.

“Follow your dream” means putting your heart and soul into the process of make it happen, because that passion fuels you while you suffer through the hardships and do the things you don’t feel like doing. But, if you have the passion for it, if you have an idea and you want to lead this idea by yourself from the beginning until the end, yes, certain skills and knowledge can be learnt.


What skills do you think are key to success in entrepreneurship?

Running your own business means wearing all types of hats. Whether it’s your marketing hat, your sales hat or your financial hat, you are going to need to know how to run a balanced account and continue to grow your wealth. Some of them are intrinsic, coming from you in a natural way, like curiosity. This will lead you to look into what your competitors are doing, and it will also allow you to utilize new technologies to the best of your ability to streamline your business and even reach out to new customers. Communication, Finance and Negotiation are some of the topics we teach in the “Business and Entrepreneurship” course. Also, we consider that cultivating a mindset is very important. How? Paying attention and developing these others skills: Exercise curiosity about the surrounding world; Define problems, opportunities, and solutions in terms of value creation; Assess and manage risk; Persist through and learn from failure; Identify new business opportunities; Apply creative & innovation thinking to ambiguous problems; Act upon analysis. And my favorite one: Identify personal passions and develops a plan for professional development. Passion is the energy that pushes everything, for this reason my mantra makes sense to me: Be Curious, Get Real, and Make it Happen!

Carme Moreno Gavara

Email: cmorenog@uoc.edu

Web: http://carmemoreno.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmemoreno/

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