When the coronavirus slammed Spain in March, Ariadna Serra realized that 2020 and past seemed dreadful for the biking excursions for international college students firm she co-founded ten years in the past.
So Serra, 41, and 5 of her feminine co-workers explored new alternatives over digital drinks. They determined to comply with their ardour for biking to fund a supply firm utilizing bikes in Barcelona, aiming to learn from the net purchasing growth prompted by the pandemic.
Les Mercedes, as the corporate is named, was based in July by the six girls and is run by 5 of them, aged 35 to 45 from Spain, France and Argentina. It’s organized as a cooperative and describes itself as “moral, sustainable and inclusive.”
“It is not solely a supply firm. We wish to go a bit additional,” mentioned Serra on the firm’s headquarters in Barcelona’s previous city.
It seeks to advertise a extra women-oriented and climate-friendly metropolis, provide good jobs, encourage accountable purchasing and help the struggling tourism-dependent native financial system, she mentioned.
Above all, it intends to be an “various mannequin” to supply giants, equivalent to Amazon and Glovo, she mentioned. Each have misplaced rulings in current months in Spain over labor situations and the rights of so-called gig financial system staff.
Amazon’s impression on native outlets is on the forefront of a political debate in Barcelona and the municipality is mulling a tax on large on-line purchasing platforms. Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau has known as on residents to boycott Amazon throughout the Christmas season and store regionally.
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“Outlets and bars are the tradition of our neighborhoods. What we would like is to affix forces with them in order that they’ll stay there and adapt to the modifications,” Serra mentioned.
Les Mercedes has round 50 core clients, primarily groceries, wine and flower outlets in addition to neighborhood purchasing associations which have launched their very own on-line marketplaces.
“We carry gender perspective to a sector that could be very masculine,” mentioned Marie Dufouleur, 42, one other firm founder.
Remembering the robust begin from scratch when the ladies had to make use of their financial savings, she mentioned: “I feel no-one thought we might do it so shortly and so effectively.” She mentioned the 12 months would finish with cash of their financial institution accounts.
Serra mentioned of 2020: “It has taken our job away however given us one other. Regardless of every part, we’re fairly glad.”
“In 2021, I feel we are going to nonetheless be right here, we are going to hold preventing.”
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