EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Local Development Agency - Barcelona Activa

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • Advice
  • Attracting investors
  • Employment incentive
  • Fostering innovation
  • Fostering mobility
  • Matching/Networking
  • Provision of labour market information
  • Start-up support
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Support of SMEs
  • Territorial coordination
  • Training
Utoljára módosítva: 03 August, 2021

Agencia de Desarrollo Local - Barcelona Activa

Angol név:

Local Development Agency - Barcelona Activa


This is available to companies, employees and unemployed people in Barcelona.

Main characteristics

Barcelona Activa is a municipal company of the city council of Barcelona which was created in 1986 in order to cope with the economic restructuring that Barcelona was experiencing after the industrial crisis. Its aims are to promote entrepreneurship; to support and promote business creation; to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship; and to stimulate innovation in SMEs. According to their action plan, Barcelona Activa offers four main services:

  • Business creation and entrepreneurship support: It coaches more than 1,000 business projects each year and provides the entrepreneurs with a wide range of services and products to turn their business ideas into reality. The training is carried out by means of a blended model methodology that mixes on-site and online support, complemented by a large offer of training activities.
  • Innovative business consolidation and growth: The activities and services included here are the business incubator and the Barcelona Nord Technology Park, the 'Xarxactiva' Business Network, which is a space where entrepreneurs can exchange ideas, learn and do business, the mentoring programme and the itineraries for growth which include training actions for business growth.
  • Human capital development and new employment opportunities: There is a Portal Jobs Space (the so-called Porta 22) that provides citizens a free access space to find work, orient their professional future and evolve in the labour market.
  • Access to and improvement of employment: Barcelona Activa offers labour market orientation to unemployed (itineraries for professional insertion), training (vocational and tailor-made training in sectors with high demand for professionals), inclusion programmes (the Programme for Socio-Labour Inclusion, the programme for New Opportunities of Access to Work for women, the Youth Plan Training-Employment), and work experience programmes that combine training and work experience (Workshop Schools, Trade Skills Houses, Employment Workshops, Employment Plans). Cibernarium provides access to the new technologies.

The collaboration with the public employment services at regional level allows Barcelona Activa to share information in order to monitor trajectories of their users.


  • Local funds
  • European funds

Involved actors

Regional/local government
Public employment services
Collaboration with PES.
Employer or employee organisations
Implementation of some programmes.


In 31 years (1987-2018), Barcelona Activa has helped to create 24,671 companies and served more than 652,000 people. From 2009 to 2017, entrepreneurs and companies that have been supportted by Barcelona Activa raised more than €183 million of finance to start new business projects or strengthen them. In 2018, 2,371 new business projects were financially assisted and 13,780 people were assisted in entrepreneurship. On average, 80% of the companies developed in the 'enterprise incubator' continue their activity after their fourth year (Barcelona Activa 2017, 2018).


This instrument can anticipate and react to change. It has a reliable knowledge of the demands of employers, as well as of skill gaps in the workforce. It encourages the creation of enterprises in growing sectors and activities.


Although Barcelona Activa has developed actions to increase the accessibility of its services with certain groups (e.g. technological training services for women) (Eticas Foundation 2018), the service shows lower levels of coverage of certain vulnerable profiles (for example non-EU migrants ) (Yufra and Lorenzo 2018).


Barcelona Nord Technology Park offers an example of the services provided by Barcelona Activa. It is a municipal facility equipped with cutting-edge infrastructures for incubating innovative technology companies in the engineering field. The 46 companies installed there have access to logistical and administrative services, ongoing advice and information services, business training and a networking and relations platform.
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