NAME: Teresa Azcona
BACKGROUND: Degree in Economics and Business Sicences (1991), Graduate Diploma in Management of Financial Entities (1995) Advanced Venture Capital Management (2004)
ACTION/SECTOR: Bank and Finances
POSITION: Managing Director
ORGANIZATION: Going Investment S.A
My Background and Career
After finishing my Degree in Economics and Business Sciences, I started my professional career in 1991 in the Strategic division for the enterprise Andersen Consulting, as Junior Consultant in the preparation of the Strategic Plan of Aragon for the Aragonese Government. After this, I started working as a technician in the Financing and Enterprises area, in which I took part in several programmes of the Aragonese Institute of Public Works. Later on, I became manager of the financing programme, being responsible for the lines of financing. Nowadays I work for Going Investment S.A as a partner and managing director.
Among my professional experiences, I would highlight my involvement in several processes of creation, mergers and acquisitions of different companies. Additionally, I have developed and implemented business plans for several companies in different sectors.
Since 1998 I have been involved in several Boards of Directors. Nowadays, I am part of the board of four industrial companies, and three financial companies, Going Investment SA, Going Investment Gestión SGECR y Creas Fondo Social S.L.
Other activities I am involved in are the Association for the Progress of management APD, in which I am a consultant for Aragón and my connection to Directivas de Aragón since its beginning. Moreover, I am a teacher in various educational programmes.
Economic problems: I have always funded myself as my business didn’t require great financial resources. If I have invested as a partner, it has been in a restricted way, and with my own resources.
Family problems: I stopped working during the two maternity leaves when my two daughters were born, which would have been hard without my family support.
Personal problems: working and being a mother has meant giving up things in some personal aspects, but as my daughters keep growing up, I recover them little by little. Moreover, the closest social environment often judges negatively professional ambition of a woman and a mother, which can get to oppress you and to create a feeling of guilt.
Social problems: I have had to face unkind remarks about the achievements in my career that a man wouldn’t have had to stand.
Keys for success: my loved ones are my greater source of motivation. My parents taught me the importance of effort, and that I set my own boundaries. My daughters’ father supported my professional ambition. I have also made the most of the training I have received and, above all, I have faced all the experiences I have had with a learning posture. My net of contacts has been a fundamental resource in my professional career, as I can easily look for the appropriate connection for each situation. In the different works I have had, my bosses have believed in me, they have supported me and I have always been offered more responsibilities.
Sources of inspiration: they have mainly been my bosses and some of my friends, specially a colleague and now also a friend. Also my colleagues from Directivas de Aragon.
Competences: I can easily apply new knowledge in my job, as I think it is a must in order to move forward. I find it easy to share and put through information, and I have faced and solved the problems that have arisen during my professional career. I can make a decision quickly, but if I am not sure, I have no hesitation in asking for advice from other people, as I think that the experience other people may have is very important, as well as their advice. Besides, I think I have a strategic view. I like setting goals so as to be able to reach my own aims, because it is the best way to ensure everything works properly. I value, above all, personal development through work, as I think it also helps you to grow as a person.
I consider myself quite an active person; I like being in constant motion. I am a very positive woman, which I think is an important characteristic in order to move a business forward. I also think that I am persistent with what I want because, if you really want to get ahead, this is essential. You have to constantly fight in order that everything will come out well. Moreover I am very critical of the things I do; I like everything to develop satisfactorily, and I consider myself quite a self-reliant woman.
Hints & Tips
Lucky Saying: Step by step.
My piece of advice for all the women who wish to undertake a project is to build up a support network: a reduced number of close people, critical and on which you have a high level of confidence, with whom you can discuss your ideas, fight against your fears and gain momentum, and which includes men and women. I also consider it is essential to get your family’s support, as well as laying clear foundations, and summon patience and perseverance.
It is extremely important not to be too self-restraint, as there already exist enough limits. Being logical with oneself is vital: it is not necessary to follow the male stereotypes, nor carrying a banner to claim for a special treatment; we are professionals, but above all, we are all people and a balance between both aspects must be kept.
The fact of being an entrepreneur allows personal development in a much more independent way than in other activities because, despite difficulties, you feel you can control your own destiny, so you can get to satisfy the need for success and contribution, which is so important for human beings. Besides, it is an activity that implies a constant challenge, and which develops the ability to solve all kinds of problems. It is important to be able to get over the weaknesses you may come across, such as the feeling of loneliness when you have a difficult decision to make, the fears of uncertainty, the difficulty of learning to delegate, knowing how to encourage your team and how to make them passionate about an enterprise they are not emotionally involved with, and understanding that the enterprise is something unattached to people, so what is good for a person, may not be for others.