This post comes from the perspective of Sílvia Solanellas.

The challenge of foreign expansion can be daunting. Look closely at the city of Sant Cugat, Barcelona, one of the most business friendly cities in Europe that has created a culture where you feel the willingness to share and grow together, and where the ecosystem thinks really big.

The city of Sant Cugat has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Spain (8.4%) and your business will be supported with a private and public collaboration, complemented with an innovative dynamic business and talent ecosystem.

Lastly, Sant Cugat has had the honor of hosting the Inc. 5000 Europe award ceremony for the last two years, and will do so again in 2017.

1. You Will Be In Good Company

Sant Cugat is absolutely pro-business oriented.

Despite the crisis, more and more companies have invested in Sant Cugat, attracted by talent, infrastructure network, public support, and a high-tech innovative ecosystem.

There is a pool of 3,100 companies: multinationals and SMEs including HP (2,500 workers), Ricoh (800), Boehringer Ingelheim (800), GFT (800), Accenture (600), Adidas/Reebok (200), Affinity (300), Bureau Veritas (600), Lubrizol (150).

2. Talent Is Plentiful

Most likely, your company's assets leave the building at the close of business everyday. The ecosystem, happiness and family life are critical determinants of company success.

There are a wide range of universities and associated research centers covering science and business degrees, with over 10,000 university students studying at prestigious universities such as ESADE Business and Law School, PC Vallès School of Architecture, International University of Catalonia (UIC) Health Sciences and Medicine School, Gimbernat Health, and Bicomputers School.

Other significant network infrastructure includes:

  • First Library Living Lab with the support of UAB Computer Vision Center
  • First Fab Lab in process to be set up in the city in the very near future.
  • CAR, the High Performance Center, one of the most prestigious European centers devoted to education and elite sport

3. Incubators Are Full Service

There is remarkable public and private collaboration translated into several business incubators spread out in the city, such as ESADECREAPOLIS, and Smart Community Trade Center.

Since ESADECREAPOLIS was created in 2009, it the hotbed for innovation with over 500 companies.

4. Incentives Are Enticing

Some of the most attractive tax incentives for companies are offered, and it easy to "make-it-happen". Sant Cugat works daily supporting entrepreneurs, Greenfield investments and consolidated companies to reinvest in the city:

  • Information on legal and tax framework
  • Partner identification for joint R&D and innovation projects
  • Talent acquisition (active Servei d'Ocupació Municipal)
  • Economic support for environmental and energy saving activities. Fully integrated in the Barcelona public pro-business network (Accio-Government of Catalonia)

5. Quality of Life is Unmatched

Sant Cugat is an open and welcoming city, focused not only on the business-person, but their family. As with Silicon Valley, you will feel the commitment to a quality of life and energy level, combining the wealth of historical charm and a wide range of activities for the whole family

Sant Cugat is a leading modern high-tech city, yet maintaining old town warmth.