Leading Spanish school for business and law, ESADE has recently joined forces with multinational financial services group BBVA on a mission to create an ecosystem that will support the most promising social entrepreneurs and enable them to consolidate, grow and scale up their social impact.

The Momentum Project was initially launched in Spain, with the selection of 10 best social entrepreneurships, which show the greatest potential to impact social change in any one of the following categories: housing and urban planning; food production and consumption; transport and mobility; socio-professional reintegration and poverty reduction; social participation and movements; education and access to knowledge; energy and the environment; health and welfare; communications and social networking; market transparency and supply chain disintermediation.

These entrepreneurs would receive specialist training from ESADE and support from a team of mentors including BBVA executives.

The model is later expected to be replicated in all countries where the corporate group has a presence. Pilot projects will be carried out over 2011 in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, along with a support program for young social entrepreneurs in tandem with Ashoka and other local social organizations.

Alliances with leading business schools in the region, such as San Andrés University in Buenos Aires, the Pacific University in Lima, Los Andes University in Bogota, the Monterrey Technological Institute and the IESA in Venezuela, are expected to facilitate the project in Latin America.

The main goal of the Momentum project is to attract all-round talent, experience and knowledge - including renowned social entrepreneurs, the most skilled ESADE students, specialised BBVA executive mentors, and sponsors of Spain's leading companies - that would guide the chosen entrepreneurs and enable them to improve their respective projects and maximize their social and economic benefits. The teams would receive both on- and off-campus support in business plan formulation, attracting sponsorships and strategy implementation.

For ESADE, as a business school, this is an opportunity to support and train entrepreneurs who are keen to build socially committed enterprises and to help them scale up the impact of their current projects.  For BBVA, it is an ambitious step towards emerging as a key player in social entrepreneurship as also a statement in corporate responsibility.

The innovative program derives inspiration from the model initiated at the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) of the University of Santa Clara in the US. GSBI is one of the primary allies of the project, others being Ashoka and the Skoll Foundation. PwC and Stone Soup are the management partners.