Meet our participants – Anca Ion and Miriam Barahona, Madrid

Article by Nathalie Alvaray from Impact Hub Madrid

Meet Anca and Miriam: two spanish creative participants in The Circle

Anca and Miriam are two creative Spanish entrepreneurs who are part of The Circle. Each woman is at a very different point in their business venture and has distinct needs.

Anca Ion’s business idea revolves around ceramics, both workshops as well as the creation of her own work. What she found most motivating about The Circle was the chance to learn how to structure a business endeavour. “I learnt to build my own business and put my ideas into practice”, she says.

Miriam Barahona’s business has been up and running since 2017. Sirem Wild is a sustainable clothing brand for nature lovers as its designs are nature-related and handmade by Miriam herself. Plus, they are made ethically made using organic cotton, thereby generating a positive social and environmental impact. The Circle gave her a way to expand her business internationally.

We chatted with them about entrepreneurship and their participation in The Circle.

How did The Circle get your attention and how do you think this initiative can help you?

A.I.: Training has always been the foundation of my work. When I came across the programme I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I believe that connecting with other entrepreneurs like myself is very handy. The only thing that changes is the way of doing business and you always learn from the experiences of others. Synergies between people always produce good results.

M.B: The first thing that got my attention was the programme’s artistic and creative focus, the call for participants with business ventures related to these fields, and the fact that art and design are the foundations of my project. In my opinion, there’s a very important creative aspect in every entrepreneurial project, in the process of generating new ideas, in creating innovative products and in managing an ever-evolving project.

How was your business and mental and personal well-being affected by the pandemic?

I.A:  My work is creative, so that really helped me to get through the hard times, far from my friends and family.

M.B: I’m the same. Having time at home to create and to dedicate to developing that creativity without any pressure helped me to connect to my artistic side from a different perspective,  to come up with new ideas and to use art to nurture my own well-being, which is much-needed in life.

Even so, the most significant rough patch occurred when all economic activity ground to a halt. Not being able to go to fairs to exhibit my products and losing contact with my customers… things have been at a standstill for a very long time in which we haven’t been able to recover the investment in our latest collections.

What do you think your business will look like in a year?

I.A: As I said, I’m an optimist, but I have to say that we’re very close to having to fight for it, which makes it really difficult to say what the business will look like within a year. I know that I’ll devote more time to my work, to creating new designs. And I’m sure that everything will turn out well.

M.B: I see Sirem Wild growing, slowly but surely, towards the goal we set at its inception: to introduce the world to all the things I do best, to build a better world.

We hope that The Circle will provide Anca and Miriam with an opportunity to learn, network and boost their businesses.


Anca’s ceramic designs


Sirem Wild’s t-shirt designs

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