Improvise or die

By Nikhil Kalanjee

10 September 2015

Jose Moncada’s story is one of change. His journey has taken him from the EU’s biggest financial institutions to the rough-and-tumble world of start-ups. But what’s he discovered along the way?

Changing the game

Jose Moncada knows a thing or two about embracing the unexpected. An epiphany during a meeting with social entrepreneurs lead the one-time Eurocrat to swap the golden cage of government for the less certain life of an entrepreneur.

Jose Moncada Changing his working environment was a key part of Jose's journey from Eurocrat to social entrepreneur.

The result was Bolsa Social. Founded in 2014, the 'crowdimpacting' platform brings together investors and entrepreneurs that share an interest in answering social issues through business. It's a model that works for both sides. Investors get access to social entrepreneurs with vetted, workable business models, while companies receive patient, non-speculative financial partners who can help them grow.

Where ideas have sex

Why your competition is really your collaborators

Stepping into the world of social entrepreneurs has taught Jose to love improvisation. After all, the growth of the sector "reflects a change in mentality," says Jose. "We want to take our decisions taking into account ethics, social impact, environmental impact – you see changes in consumption and investment."

People increasingly expect businesses to adapt to the world, and help shape it in positive ways. For Bolsa Social, that means being true to their mantra of "invest with values" – the investors and businesses they bring together need to make a social impact, innovate, be scalable and embrace transparency.

“Be bold enough to say 'I need to change'.” Jose Moncada Founder, Bolsa Social
Bolsa Social Founder Jose Moncada

An essential quality in the people he meets in his new life is being flexible. Careful planning – while essential – only takes you so far. "You might have developed a beautiful business plan and you might love the ideas in it. But you have to be bold enough and flexible enough to say 'if this doesn't work, I need to change'."

As he considers the advice he'd give any entrepreneur, Jose smiles. "Reality is always surprising you… You have to be able to adapt."

What's the toughest thing you've had to adapt to? Share your stories in the comments below.