2020 has been a brutal year for business.
With little government support and ongoing costs, sustaining a small business has been difficult but even harder for female led companies.
New figures show that this year, female-led businesses were seven per cent more likely to close than their male-led equivalents, due to women taking on the main share of Covid-era domestic responsibilities and home-schooling.
It isn’t all doom and gloom however, as a new project from local entrepreneur Lara Gonzalez aims to prove.
Single mum Lara had successfully grown Evento Shop, a thriving event staging and wedding decoration business in Marbella over the past 11 years. Sadly, like most celebratory companies, her entire years’ worth of events were cancelled back in March, leaving her packed schedule completely empty.
The final blow came when her warehouse and office was put up for sale, leaving her business without a base to work from.
Refusing to accept defeat Lara, like many others, took the opportunity to reinvent herself, and at the same time, help as many of her friends as she could that had suffered the same economic setbacks.
Her new business, SOHO Market Marbella, is a brand-new concept that aims to give small local businesses a way back onto the high street at a fraction of the cost.
Launching on December 4 at the Guadalmina shopping centre, the market style layout at SOHO Market Marbella allows local small brands and retailers to showcase their products in a chic new environment offering a food truck, champagne bar, flower stall and even a recreational area for kids to play.
Lara explais. “I created SOHO market first out of necessity to support my kids but secondly to help my friends as we were all in the same economical boat due to Corona. We knew no one was going to come to our rescue, it was up to us to forge ahead and decide our own destiny. So, I created SOHO Market as a place where ‘mumpreneurs´ as well as any other shop owners, can come together to support each other. Every shop involved in the project brings something to the table, whether it’s a talent or invaluable knowledge that we can all appreciate and learn from.”
Shops that have already signed up to Soho Market include children’s clothing, a homeware and decoration shop, London gift shop, jewelry shop, delicatessen, a beautician and many more.
Lara added. “This is a new exciting concept that allows people to support the small local retailer while experiencing a new style of shopping. SOHO Market is something people haven’t seen before. We’ve even built a food truck inside our shop to offer a different dining concept and our kids area is the first of its kind, as it’s aimed at older kids from seven upwards.
We can’t wait for people to try our Christmas shopping experience, including the personal hospitality that only a sole retailer can offer.”