Empowerment in Entrepreneurship

Christina Gama
Christina Gama
November 17, 2023 • 8 minutes

We firmly believe that our greatest legacy is our talent. We are committed to investing in top performers and exceptional leaders who strive to elevate standards, empower their peers, and assist others in realizing their full potential. Our company was founded with an entrepreneurial spirit that is deeply embedded in our DNA. 

By fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, we’re investing in creating a European tech ecosystem that is on par with the United States and Asia, ensuring that the continent remains competitive and at the forefront of technological advancement. As Spain’s second unicorn, we are now in a strong position to share our expertise with the startup community and formalize our commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship through an initiative called Glovo House

Glovo House

Since Glovo was founded, nearly 50 startups have been launched in 9 countries by former employees. We believe that it’s the responsibility of those who have already been on the startup journey to help nurture the community by sharing their knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Glovo House is designed to be a launchpad to accelerate the projects of Glovo employees and alumni. The program is built on four main pillars to stimulate ideas and support founders: mentorship, visibility, networking, and financial funding. The ultimate goal is to foster and support a community of alumni who have become founders. 

In addition, we are actively involved in running and supporting startup competitions, particularly those that promote women in entrepreneurship, tech, and green startups. 

Women Entrepreneurs

We truly believe in the importance of diversity and inclusion not only in the workplace, but in entrepreneurship. Currently it is estimated that women make up 52 % of the total European population but only 34.4 % of the European Union (EU) self-employed and 30 % of start-up entrepreneurs

As we celebrate Women Entrepreneurship Day, it’s essential to highlight the role of women in the tech ecosystem. Women entrepreneurs bring unique perspectives and innovative ideas to the table, and their success is crucial for a more diverse and equitable business landscape.

We caught up with two Glovo Alumni and current Glovo House members, Maguelone Biau, Co-Founder and CEO of Twende, a marketplace offering transport solutions to employees relying on informal or public transport and Nora Vallcorba, Founder of Nora Real Food, a company that prepares daily diverse, healthy, and unique menus that are then delivered directly to your office or home before noon.

Thanks to their experiences at Glovo, both Nora and Maguelone were able to move on with a clear objective: to found their own startups and close the gaps they found in the industry they operate.

Maguelone Biau pictured on the left and Nora Vallcorba pictured on the right

How has your journey at Glovo influenced and motivated you to establish your own business? 

Maguelone: Glovo helped me develop the right skill set, confidence, and relevance for investors to launch a startup. However, I never quite understood why there were so few women in leadership at different scale-ups I had worked for. Working towards improving this incoherent data and building something that can make people’s lives easier is my core motivation.

Nora: I started working at Glovo when we were very few. I was fortunate to be with an incredible team from whom I learned a lot. Every day was a challenge, we all helped each other and the journey you could have there was endless; you could set your own limits. Any initiative was rewarded, testing and seeing if it could work. We all invested a lot of effort, and there was a shared sense of enthusiasm and a common dream. Glovo is undoubtedly the experience that inspired me to start my own business, to have a dream to pursue, working very hard to achieve it, and learning something new every day. 

Can you share a specific skill or experience from your time at Glovo that significantly contributed to your entrepreneurial journey? Perhaps a memorable project or a challenge you faced and learned from?  

Maguelone: We managed to bring the informal market of Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, live on Glovo. For context in Ivory Coast, we’re talking about a majority of women, usually illiterate and not connected to the internet, and a highly informal and fragmented organization. When I said that we’d bring those markets on Glovo because consumers loved buying fresh products from there despite the shopping hassle of actually going there, everyone said we were crazy. Step by step, we adapted the process to the local reality, found connections, and met with associations and women to better understand how to make it work. Today, with my startup, we’re trying to digitize informal transportation where several patterns are similar to this project. When I have a moment of doubt thinking that “it’s impossible,” I like remembering that “We Did It” already in a different context.

Nora: In the initial phase, we were trying to acquire B2B clients who would use the platform. One day, while walking down the street, we spotted a restaurant called Peggy Sue with delivery drivers outside the establishment. We went in and explained our service. At that time, we hadn’t yet acquired any restaurants as clients. When we started with Peggy Sue (a small burger restaurant in Barcelona), we saw the potential of restaurants, with many orders (back then), especially during peak weekend hours and evenings. Seeing something you do today being implemented and having an impact on tomorrow is truly inspiring. Additionally, everything was “GAS” – we had to move fast and be ambitious. I really enjoyed every single day.

What advice do you have for individuals contemplating the initiation of their own business ventures?  

Maguelone: (1) Find the right partner in crime. Besides increasing your chances of success, it’s also more enjoyable to build with someone. (2) Find your inner motivation. There will be down moments, so find what will drive you no matter what. (3) The classic: Make something people want.

Nora: Surrounding yourself with the right people and leaning on a strong team is key. If you find a co-founder, even better; journeys are better when shared. Oscar also told me: “Stay focused”. Not losing focus is crucial, I’ve learned it along the way, you can’t scale up your business unless you remain fully focused. The most important thing is the effort; you’ll work very hard, so persistence is essential. Ultimately, having a vision, wanting to create something impactful helps you understand why you “struggle so much.”

Empowering European Startups and Catalyzing the European Tech Ecosystem

An entrepreneurship ecosystem isn’t just good news for businesses; it’s a win-win for the development and growth of cities and communities, also to fostering economic development, creating job opportunities, encouraging innovation, and promoting diversity in the workplace.

These emerging businesses are not just the future of tech; they’re vital for local economic growth. By providing resources, mentorship, and investment opportunities, we’re dedicated to their success and we remain committed to empowering entrepreneurs and driving positive change in the world.

Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and inspiring young women to seek a career in tech is not limited to just words; we are all about taking real, tangible actions. We believe in our potential to become a key partner in the European startup and scaleup scene, providing support and opportunities to budding entrepreneurs across the continent and beyond. We recognize that these young businesses are not just the future of the tech industry but also the backbone of economic growth in their local environment.

To truly impact the European Tech ecosystem, the best place to begin is with the next generation. Though our Women in Tech programs, which include generating interest in girls to pursue a career in tech via sponsored boot camps, sessions in schools, and events and training materials for women of all ages, we aim to impact the next generation of women so that more of them not only end up pursuing a career in tech, but envision themselves as tech entrepreneurs. 

The European tech landscape is constantly evolving, and startups and scaleups play a vital role in this transformation. Our commitment to empowering these businesses helps ensure that Europe remains competitive on the global stage. To bolster our support, we’ve joined the Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA) and other European startup communities such as Unicorn Factory in Portugal.  With access to the right resources and support, these companies have the potential to create groundbreaking technologies and disrupt traditional industries.