Knowing Good Stories about the Portuguese Economy – Business Initiatives

Knowing Good Stories about the Portuguese Economy – Business Initiatives

“We have had and are going through disruptive moments, first with a two-year epidemic, and now the war in Ukraine. But our companies have shown tremendous resilience and adaptability, so, more than ever, we are eager to learn good stories, good examples, that can inspire other businesses and the other personalities,” said Patricia Madeira, who is responsible for Santander corporate strategy, as a way of summarizing the philosophy embodied in Portugal’s Inspirador Prize. In his opinion, most companies in Portugal had the ability to transform and adapt to new contexts. He asserts that companies were stronger in the face of the economic and social crisis caused by the epidemic, compared to previous crises.

The Portugal Inspirador Award covers four areas: agriculture, tourism, services, sustainability, social economy, innovation, technology and industry. “They make a difference in the Portuguese business fabric and have a very important connection,” ensures Patrícia Madeira. In addition to being a strategy for the country, he asserts, it is a strategy for Santander. “These are the areas that we want to be rewarded, and recognized, because they make a difference and are inspiring.”

More transformation

On the other hand, if agriculture has undergone a major transformation, including digital transformation, tourism, which had a significant weight in service exports before the pandemic, has had a hard time. “She has been in almost complete stagnation as she reinvents herself, finding new ways to attract customers and showing some resistance in this new upheaval we are seeing,” said Patricia Madeira. In the field of tourism, in the accommodation and restaurant category, in 2020, 79% of their companies will reduce their turnover. On the other hand, in agriculture, most companies have increased their sales, contracting just over 40%, according to data from Informa D&B.

[A agricultura] It has been in almost complete stasis as it reinvents itself, finding new ways to attract customers and show resistance. Patricia Madeira, Chief Strategy Officer, Santander

“Companies have been more interested in putting ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) standards into their activities, rethinking their business models, particularly in aspects such as decarbonization, and contributing to a greater green economy. Not just energy. This concern is growing, and from The management’s top priority is for companies to be more sustainable and economically responsible,” asserts Patricia Madeira.

He emphasized that social economy had played a fundamental role over the years in Portugal and that its modernization had undergone greater specialization. These organizations (IPSS, Santas Casas, for example) are increasingly working with action plans focused on helping and promoting well-being, but also with a medium and long-term sustainability horizon and more professionalism.”

The bank helps with the solution

The Santander director notes that companies today are becoming more solvent, financially stronger and more stable, and that banking has been part of the solution, for example, through a moratorium. Two years ago, Santander, once Covid-19 started, took immediate action to ensure companies could continue their activities and maintain their business.

In these troubled times, with war on the EU’s doorstep, the strategy is the same. But Patricia Madeira has no doubts that adjustments are necessary due to increases in the prices of fuel, raw materials and feedstock. “We are close to our clients to understand their investment plans, the changes that need to be made, and how to move some of the short-term investments into the medium and long term, so that their business continues to flow in the best possible way.”

Help can come from initiatives, aid and even the implementation of European funds, PRR, with its grants. This support can ensure that companies, at a minimum, maintain stability from a Treasury point of view and the ability to cope with investments that have already been planned. Patricia Madeira concludes, “Our main priority is to make these funds available to these companies, the programmed lines that may be in place as quickly as possible so that they are stable from a treasury and liquidity point of view.”

Award: Criteria and Jury

The Portuguese Inparador Award, together with the companies, aims to recognize and promote companies and personalities that stand out in different sectors of activity. This award has no nominations, it is by selection, and it has a jury of 16 personalities.

The Portugal Inspirador Award is an initiative of Santander, Jornal de Negócios and Correio da Manhã and relies on Informa D&B and Accenture as its “Knowledge Partners”. Its aim is to highlight companies operating in Portugal that are distinguished by their ability to create jobs, strengthen the market, innovate and promote economic development, and that contribute more to the growth of the national economy globally.

The award includes four categories: Agriculture, Tourism and Services, Sustainability, Social Economy and Innovation, and Technology and Industry. Three prizes are awarded within the categories – Company Grand Award, PME Award, and Person of the Year Award – which award a total of 12 awards.

Selection of candidates
Selection of candidates has the following steps. I started by outlining the criteria for each of the categories Accenture has implemented. Based on pre-defined criteria, Informa D&B identifies and selects candidates and verifies corporate eligibility. Next, Informa D&B provides the information to the judges, four characters in each of the four categories, who select the winners.

Agriculture jurors
Gabriella Cruz, President of APOSOLO – Portuguese Association for Soil Mobilization.
Joaquim Pedro Torres, General Manager of Valinveste;
Jose Pedro Salima, IDEA Chairman.
Sandra Tavares da Silva The winemaker at Wine & Soul.

Innovation, technology and industry
Carlos Oliveira Co-founder and CEO of Fundação José Neves;
Paulo Pereira da Silva, CEO of Renova.
Pedro Santa Clara Shocked partner does not stir.

Sustainability and Social Economy
Clara Raposo Head of ISEG.
Felipe Duarte Santos, Chairman of the National Council for Environment and Sustainable Development;
Maria de Seo Ramos, General Secretary of the Eugenio de Almeida Foundation;
Pedro Norton de Matos, Founder and organizer of Greenfest and Bluefest.

Tourism and services
Helia Pereira, Dean of the European University;
Luis Araujo President of Turismo de Portugal;
Nuno Botelho President of the Porto Trade Association.