NAME: Pilar Andrade Sanchez
BACKGROUND: Vocational training in Enterprise Magament, Insurance mediator, Personal Financial consultant, Patrimony Manager
POSITION: Founder and manager
ORGANISATION: Andrade & Aragón S.L
My Background and Career
I was born in a very big family, and I had nine siblings. This situation made me look for a quick way out in order to start my working life as soon as possible. While I was studying, I had different jobs. For instance, I was working during the holidays in a clinic in Zaragoza in different departments, such as doctors’ appointments and the archive. This way, I was in contact with a big enterprise from 17 to 20 years of age. In winter, I took several jobs for marketing consultants and taking market studies, such as level surveys. I also worked during Christmas and Easter campaigns. Once I finished my studies, I got my driving license, and with my savings I bought a fifth-hand car, but the insurance company didn’t insure me for not being 25 yet and for not having my driving license for at least two years. It was then when I began to know this sector, and I got a job in a driving school, where I got my driving license, collaborating on the insurance sector. So when I was only 21, I decided to work in the mediation sector, and I began to study, taking a Superior Course in Insurance, an official qualification from the Ministry of Economy, and later on, I took a master in the Finances School. Afterwards, I took a Management master, which entitled me to belong to the Financial Market National Commission as an agent, in order to manage the selling of investment funds. All this work enabled me to create a client portfolio of over €2,540,000, which today, Andrade & Iranzo S.L, made up of a team of six people, manages more than 500 Aragonese enterprises and 3600 private individuals, being one of the reference insurance companies in Aragon, due to its commitment and quality.
In the last years, I’ve been a part of the creation process and constitution of several companies like: Hobbyclick, an e-commerce focused on selling agricultural and gardening products; Clickerland, company focused on the study of research and markets o Arymedia Solutions that looks to unify technologies and mediation services in a single education spot.
Economic problems: When you decide to start up an Enterprise, one of the most difficult things is self-financing. In 1996, the unemployment rate was 20.54% and the interest of loans were close to 12%, so financing my business was hard, as it meant a lot of work without payment.
Family problems: People around me didn’t understand why I rejected very appealing job offers, until they realised that the effort was worth it.
Personal problems: Managing your own business requires a great effort and sacrifice. I spend a lot of hours working, and the concerns that uncertainty raises up are hard to endure.
Social problems: being a businesswoman wasn’t the most valued job when I started up my business. Even nowadays, it isn’t valued. Society gives a greater value to working in a bank or to being a civil servant, as it means belonging to “other status”.
Other problems: in my case, being very young and belonging to a traditionally male sector was very difficult. Especially if you were young and you hadn’t inherited the business, it was hard to believe.
Keys for success: what has mainly helped me to success has been the training I have received in my life, and my personality and determining character, not to forget hard work and perseverance.
Sources of inspiration: throughout my professional career, I have met a lot of entrepreneurs, who I have observed and from whom I have tried to learn. I tried to apply to my job all the positive aspects I could find in them.
Competences: I have tried to apply positively all the things I have learnt while I was being trained in my business. When I am working, I like to do it in a team, and I can coordinate and encourage the staff; if they have a doubt or problem, I like listening to them in order to be able to help them. I consider myself capable of dealing with all my activities, both in my job and out of it, and I have always thought that in order to achieve your goals, you have to set your aims, so as to always have a clear path to follow.
Qualities: I think I can consider myself a very active woman, as I like to be trained constantly. I am also quite independent in certain aspects, and self-reliant. I am a very optimistic and ambitious person. This has helped my business to move forward. I think I have a great view of the future, so I try to innovate all the time. I like being practical and analytical with what I do. I like things to be done quickly and efficiently, making things easier
Hints & Tips
Her lucky saying is: I’ve been lucky, but luck caught me working.
The piece of advice I give to all the women who wish to undertake a new business is that you have to have your aims clear. In order to achieve this, it would be necessary to design a roadmap that indicates the way to be followed. You have to learn to act according to the results you obtain, and to the set goals and aims. Thinking that things are going to be straightforward is illogical, because everything takes an effort, so effort and perseverance are going to be the main weapons you can use to make your business move forward.
I have always believed that it is necessary to be trained constantly. You never have to get stuck in the past; you have to keep on studying, acquiring new knowledge and applying it so as to get positive results. Constant training enables you to be able to innovate, and that is what must be done nowadays: looking for new ways to make your business attractive. Undertaking your own business is one of the most important decisions in your life. What we have to achieve together is that being an entrepreneurial woman gets to be a reference for society. We are all able to change things, to create new role models, and to make our own mistakes. Making mistakes is something common, and although it may seem a bad thing, it is another way to learn and develop. We have to set a common goal, and contribute together, so as to be able to value the things we do.