FPdGi Awards

Arancha Martínez: “It is an opportunity to inspire more people to take the plunge”

This social entrepreneur has won the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award for her social commitment, which led her to promote the project It Will Be, a start-up NGO that works on more collaborative and caring models for the social and cooperation sectors.


Bringing efficiency and professionalism to the humanitarian sector so that NGOs can maximise their resources to reach more people; this is the objective of the project It Will Be, created by social entrepreneur Arancha Martínez (1984), winner of the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award for the social commitment she has shown in promoting the project It Will Be, a start-up NGO that works on more collaborative and caring models for the social and cooperation sectors. The jury for the FPdGi Social Award praised this project specifically “for being a highly innovative management model based on cutting-edge technology and with a great impact on improving the efficiency of international cooperation.”

“She is an inspiring person who has chosen to infuse her personal and professional career with social commitment”, added the committee of experts who served as the jury, formed of pedagogue and social entrepreneur Roser Batlle; general coordinator of the Spanish Red Cross, Toni Bruel; social entrepreneur and 2014 FPdGi Social Award winner, Mohamed El Amrani; founder and CEO of Bolsa Social, José Moncada; lecturer at Comillas Pontifical University, Sebastián Mora, and the president of Abacus, Maravillas Rojo, who acted as chair.

Martínez created her project in India in 2009 to try to help NGOs working in development and cooperation projects in third-world countries, where one of the main difficulties is “identifying the individuals benefitting from the different programmes, because each organisation must carry out this task on their own”, explained the entrepreneur. And that led to the creation of the People’s Protection app (PPa), which allows users to register people, set up profiles and keep tracking records to complement a large database that can be used by all NGOs, thereby improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

A technological and human breakthrough that the Foundation has decided to reward. “It is a very important recognition and an opportunity to bring the project to even more people, as well as also inspiring other people to take the plunge themselves”, stressed Martínez, who also believes that the FPdGi’s work is fundamental: “It’s fantastic and so necessary because there is hardly any aid available for cooperation; and, what’s more, the award winners are extremely inspirational and highly motivating people.”

Applying banking techniques to NGOs
A graduate in Business Science and International Relations from ICADE, Arancha Martínez decided to turn her life around in 2008, when she resigned from her job at a bank in Dublin to spend six months in India as a volunteer. However, she ended up staying there for five years, during which she set up It Will Be. Today this NGO has 182 partners who collaborate in the six projects that it runs in India.

“During the years I worked at the bank I learned a lot and so I decided to put that knowledge to use in NGOs”, explained this entrepreneur, who applies strategic marketing and finance techniques to the social sector to try to “maximise the social impact of cooperation and humanitarian projects.” She added, “There were many NGOs working side by side and sometimes with similar projects yet who didn’t know each other. And that is also our function: to provide an umbrella under which different organisations can come together.”

After merging with another NGO in India, in 2013 Martínez returned to live in Spain and continues her work here, searching out research and innovation formulas in the field of cooperation. Along these lines, the entrepreneur believes that the State and the Administration have to change their tax policies to allow NGOs to allot a percentage of their funding to research and innovation. “We became a social company in order to allocate money to these areas, because as an NGO the legislation does not allow it”, she pointed out.

Another area where the organisation focuses its efforts is transparency and the participation of its partners. At the moment, for example, it is running a pilot in which donors can follow the money they have donated. “Through an online platform, donors can see where their money is at any given moment, what it has been spent on and how the project it has funded is progressing”, explained the entrepreneur, adding that this system also allows donors to “participate much more in the projects they are collaborating with.”

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