Approximately 50 percent of new ventures have to close their doors before they reach their fifth year. Part of the challenge includes testing the intuition of the founders under immense pressure early on, with little outside help available. This is where Mesh comes in, a team of creative minds based in Barcelona that retools brands from the ground up to give them the best shot at success.
It is the experience and insight of Mesh founder Nicerine Bres that sets it apart in the start-up creative environment of Barcelona. She believes many brand consultants have forgotten the humanity of their work, that it is a matter of fostering the right relationships and refining the human narrative first. Only then do the outward style and strategy follow. According to her, the integration of new technology and simply connecting the right people is where Mesh makes significant impact.
“I started Mesh because I want to continue shaping business and technology to serve humans,” said Bres. “For organisations and companies, we clarify their purpose, vision and story in a way they can fully own and be proud of. We help them increase profit, because they genuinely connect to their users and customers with our services that address empathy.”
Mesh brings together the elements needed for fledgling and established entrepreneurs to turn their spark into a moving machine. According to Bres, the hustle of finding new clients and keeping cash aflow through the year represents the biggest source of anxiety for small business owners. A considerable part of that anxiety can be circumvented by getting the right message to shine through one’s work, she believes, whatever the product. This will act as a force of magnetism to attract the right kind of people naturally. With a fully-realised vision overhead and a close-knit group of colleagues in tow, like minded folks have a better chance to gravitate towards your business and clients will find you more easily.
While Bres and her colleagues work to pare down and bolster the core principles of a new business so that its mission does not get lost among all the other challenges entrepreneurs face, she is thoughtful in developing the identity of her own team and the mandate that drives them, starting with the concept behind their name.
“Mesh signifies that everything is interconnected. Business owners have to be aware that we are all part of a system and that our actions impact the whole – in a negative but also positive way. We have to set intention in our work whatever it is. I think the world has functioned for too long as if we, individuals and organisations, were independent agents and this has led to struggle and pain in many parts of the world. We have to be more aware of the whole and design for positive impact.”
With so much whoop and suspicion filling the air around recent advancements in technology, artificial intelligence and its effect on the advertising world and small businesses, Bres remains coolly confident that such innovations will yield great things for those with the right temperament.
“Tech is not above us and it’s neither good nor bad in itself. What’s vital is how we use it and the intention we imprint on it."
She continues: "New technology is only what we make of it and yes, there are some possibly scary scenarios – all the more reason why we have to be involved, understand, watch and contribute to it.”
Another ingredient Bres advises entrepreneurs to be mindful of is geographical awareness. As she has learned from her own experience in Spain, engaging with local, city-focused business programmes are every bit as important as creating international visibility. Any entrepreneur would be remiss to let the valuable opportunities of his or her own city, as distinct from any other community, pass by.
“The start-up culture in Barcelona is quite lively,” she said, “I’ve learned that this city attracts a lot of entrepreneurs and digital nomads. Barcelona is also very inspiring and innovative city at ground level. For example, a platform for citizens’ participation called Decidim was recently created, where citizens can propose actions to improve one aspect of the city life and get funded by the city if they get enough support from city dwellers (from 9000 signatures).”
For creative thinkers looking to carve their own path into the business world, or established entrepreneurs looking to take their campaign to a whole new level, Bres offered a few final words of wisdom.
“Own your life. Don’t wait for authorisation to do things. Just get the ball rolling and find the right partner,” she said, “When you believe in what you do and show enthusiasm, people will want to get involved.”