How IE Students are Boosting Local Businesses in Segovia


IE University in Segovia has become an important source of revenue for the local businesses in the area. The university significantly impacts the local economy, and business owners in Segovia have taken notice. 

The relationship between IE students and local businesses has been discussed for many years. To better understand the impact of IE students on local businesses, I interviewed several business owners and employees in the Segovia area.

Discussing the Topic with the Owner of Selfish Poke

One business owner I spoke to was the owner of a restaurant we all know. You could consider it a very IE-dependent restaurant; Selfish Poke. 

The restaurant sells customizable poke bowls and was founded by Antonio, an IE student who studied BBA and graduated in 2018. He felt there was a wasted opportunity for IE students in Segovia and a need for options for international students in such a small town. 

“IE students are our most important customers. They come in regularly, and their patronage contributes significantly to our revenue. Some of them are here every day while locals would only eat out like once a week,” stated Antonio. 

Other business owners, whose names will not be shared out of courtesy, mentioned that IE students tend to spend more money than regular residents, especially on dining out and nightlife. 

They also noted that IE students are more likely to be adventurous in their dining choices and are willing to try new things, namely international foods, as opposed to simple, traditional Spanish dishes.

Challenges Faced by Segovian Business Owners

While there is no denying the positive impact that IE students have on local businesses, there are also some challenges. 

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Image courtesy of Proctor Academy

Some business owners we spoke to mentioned that the presence of university students in Segovia disrupts the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the city, with all their parties and sometimes erratic habits. 

Additionally, some residents feel that the influx of students has increased noise and traffic in the area.

Despite these challenges, the overwhelming sentiment from the business owners we spoke to was that the presence of IE students in Segovia has been overwhelmingly positive. 

One business owner states, “IE students are our bread and butter. Without them, our business would struggle. We appreciate their patronage and work hard to ensure they feel welcome in our establishment.”

How Segovian businesses cater to IE Students

When it comes to catering to the needs and interests of IE students, many business owners emphasize the importance of creating a welcoming environment. They noted that it’s essential to be friendly and accommodating to all customers, regardless of where they come from.

In terms of specific policies or regulations that business owners would like to see implemented to support local businesses, many mentioned the lack of efficiency of the Spanish or, in general, European bureaucracy, as it takes a considerable period for them to get their licenses and applied documents for opening their businesses. 

They also mentioned the importance of supporting small businesses and creating a level playing field for all businesses in the area.

In a nutshell…

Overall, the impact of IE students on local businesses in Segovia has been overwhelmingly positive. While there are challenges, most business owners recognize the significant contribution that the university makes to the local economy. 

By working together, local businesses and IE students can continue to build strong relationships and support each other for years to come.

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