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“Women in Business Awards” to close submissions on May 28

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Two female entrepreneurs discussing strategies at a work desk
A judging panel, made up of a group of male and female executives from CaixaBank, will select 14 regional winners.

CaixaBank, a Spanish multinational financial services company based in Valencia, is seeking out 14 top businesswomen across the country in a new edition of the “CaixaBank Women in Business Awards”, which each year recognise the talent and professional excellence of leading female entrepreneurs with standout careers, strategic vision, and transformative innovation and leadership skills.

The “CaixaBank Women in Business Awards”, which are now in their seventh year, have been established to recognise business excellence and contribution to promoting gender equality in Spanish society. In 2022, the bank received over 100 candidates, three times the average received in previous years. Also, this year CaixaBank opened the call to female business owners of microenterprises and SMEs that meet the award criteria, which include being a majority shareholder in the company, being actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business, and showing a commitment to responsibility. In addition, the company must have been in business for at least three years, have a minimum turnover equivalent to USD 1.5 million, and be actively engaged in importing or exporting goods or services, or be prepared to start global business.

From among the entries received in the initial regional stage, the judging panel – made up of a group of male and female executives from CaixaBank – will select 14 regional winners, one for each of the bank’s Business Commercial Divisions. All these winners will be invited to join the CaixaBank Women in Business Awards Community on LinkedIn, created by the bank to promote relationships and networking among all the winners of previous years, and giving them access to exclusive activities.

In the subsequent national stage, the national winner will be chosen from the 14 regional winners. She will join previous national winners of the “CaixaBank Women in Business Awards”, including Inés Juste, president of the Juste Group; Rocío Hervella, founder and CEO of Prosol; Arancha Manzanares, Vice-President of Ayesa; Lina Mascaró, president of the Mascaró Group; Pilar Martínez-Cosentino, vice-president of the Cosentino Group; and Maite Casademunt, president and creative director of Lola Casademunt.

The national winner of the ”CaixaBank Women in Business Awards“ will also be one of the Spanish businesswomen awarded at the IWEC Awards of the International Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), the worldwide network of leading female business owners who cooperate on a global level. These awards, first created in 2007, are presented at the annual IWEC meeting, which will take place this year between 5 and 7 November 2023 in Turin (Italy).

Female entrepreneurs who are interested in participating can access the entry criteria of this year’s call and submit their candidacies at www.caixabank.es/PremioMujerEmpresaria by this Sunday, May 28.

Last year, as part of the awards ceremony for the sixth edition of the “CaixaBank Women in Business Awards”, the “Women’s Leadership” forum was held in Madrid, the first in-person gathering of the Community. The forum brought together over 40 female business owners and was attended by the CaixaBank CEO Gonzalo Gortázar and many of the bank’s executives.

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Money Transfer firm agrees with FCA after payment failures

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Money Transfer Firm fails to pay thousands to customers
Emptied wallet: customers sending money via Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) didn’t have funds paid in

Payment services firm Trans-Sending Limited (LCC), also known as Small World Money Transfer, Express Funds, and Global Link, among other branding names, has officially closed to new business and stopped accepting funds from customers following action from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

As reported by Euronewsweek over the weekend, the company, until recently, was offering money transfer services to over 180 countries. Launched in 2005, Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) had offices in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

The FCA invited LCC to sign a formal agreement in which the company pledged to remain closed to new business and stop accepting funds from existing customers. However, the link to send money remained live on the Small World Money Transfer (LCC) portal over the weekend, days after the agreement was signed between the money transfer company and the British Financial Conduct Authority.

Across Spain, the UK, Switzerland, and other European countries, many customers are facing issues accessing funds they have recently paid in.

“Since June 10th, Small World LCC has given me many different versions of what is happening. Mostly, they say they don’t know when they will return the money I have sent,” says Vianela Custódio, who lives in Spain and has used the company before, despite previous delays in payments being completed.

“All Small World offices have been closed for days, and they do not answer the phone. They say they have laid off all their employees and the company has closed. We are very afraid because we sent € 9,000 Euros on June 7th to purchase a land in the Dominican Republic to build a family home for my daughters. Now, we are days away from losing the money that had been given as a deposit in advance to the vendor for the purchase of the area. We face losing all our savings,” says Vianela, who plans to start legal proceedings against the collapsed company soon.

Another former customer of Small World LCC also shared with Euronewsweek about her struggles trying to recover money sent with the company.

“It has been over a week, and the €800 I sent to Brazil to help my son with his university costs and general maintenance hasn’t arrived,” says worker Nara Baracho, who lives in Switzerland.

Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) also operated under the names Swiss Transfers, UNO, Bayba (UK), and Universal de Envíos, resulting in thousands of customers in Europe being impacted by the sudden closure of the business. On Friday, June 14th, customers going to physical branches in England, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland encountered a “Suspension of Services” message affixed to Small World LCC’s closed doors, informing them that the company would not be able to make payments.

Student Jennifer Cortegana, who lives in Peru, has been waiting for funds sent by her father, a transportation worker based in Spain, since June 7th. “The money is intended to pay for my university and health bills. He used Small World LCC before and had no problems. Now they don’t respond to any form of contact. Their offices are closed, and they do not respond to calls or emails,” worries Jennifer.

Customers turned up and found all Small World LCC branches closed

“The week before last, I used a Small World LCC branch in London to send £210 to Brazil to help with the purchase of tickets for family members to visit me. On Wednesday, after many days without the transaction being completed, I returned to the same location and was informed about a delay in the system and assured that funds would be available shortly,” says auto paint technician Adilson Mamede, another victim of Small World LCC. When he returned to the branch once again, the location was closed, and he has not received his money, refund, or any communication from the company to date.

The closure of Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) comes a few months after the company was fined £139,500 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom for breaching competition rules alongside two other transfer firms. 

In that case, the British regulator found that Small World, Hafiz Bros, and Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) coordinated on certain exchange rates offered to customers in Glasgow for converting pounds to Pakistani Rupees when transferring money. 

Since June 14th, Euronewsweek  has made several attempts to get hold of a Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) representative to get an update on whether customers will be refunded. All their phone numbers available for customer service, as well as individual branches in the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy, are not answering.

Contacted via LinkedIn, Rana Shahzad, Head of Sales, UK & Ireland at Small World Financial Services replied stating “Unfortunately, we don’t have any instructions with regards to communications. It is best to keep trying the numbers that you are.”

Euronewsweek also reached out twice to Equistone Partners, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity firms, which invested in Small World Financial Services back in 2018 – but received no reply from its UK office.

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Thousands left without money after Small World LCC ceases trading

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Migrants looking at a closed branch of Money Transfer Small World
Customers look at a notice of suspension of services at a Small World LCC branch in London

“Every month I send €800 to help my son with his university costs and general maintenance. It has been over a week, and the money hasn’t arrived yet,” says Nara Baracho, a Brazilian migrant who works at an industrial laundry in Switzerland.

Nara is one of thousands of customers across Europe who, this week, were taken by surprise by the suspension of services of Small World (LCC), a money transfer company operating since 2005 with offices and presence in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

“I have used them for over 13 years and it is regrettable that they left so many people without their money. Earlier in the week I tried to contact Small World by email and received a message saying that my message had been blocked,” explains Baracho providing a screenshot of the message received as proof.

A popular money transfer service among migrants, until recently Small World LCC offered money transfer services to over 180 worldwide destinations. In 2018, the company generated revenues in excess of £110m.

On Thursday, June 14th, however, a “Suspension of Services” disclaimer was posted on the Small World website, informing customers of recent changes and that the company had stopped accepting any new customers or agents, as well as sending money abroad.

“We want to tell you about some important changes at Small World.

From now, Small World has stopped accepting any new customers or agents, accepting funds or making payments for existing customers through all channels, including any of its agents, branches, web sites or mobile applications.

If you ask us to make a payment, we may not be able to make that payment. Where we have already sent the funds to a bank or other third party that we use to deliver the funds to the person you are trying to pay, it is possible that the bank or third party has paid the funds to your recipient or will do so in the usual timeframes.”

Customers going to physical branches in England, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland also encountered similar messages affixed to Small World LCC closed doors. The announcement was not 100% true: throughout June 14th, Small World LCC still had the send money button fully active, hours after the company started to inform customers of service suspension, even if most of the site was already with limited access.

For Marbel Luz Carrillo, a Colombian who lives in Barcelona, Spain, that timeframe has long passed. The worker used Small World LCC on Saturday, June 8th to send funds to help relatives to make home repairs – a week later, Marbel is still awaiting any response regarding whether her family will receive the money sent.

“I have been here in Spain for 24 years, and on many other occasions I have sent money through this company (Small World LCC) without any issues. I am surprised that this is happening because, in my opinion, they were one of the best companies for sending money abroad,” says Luz Carrillo, expressing disappointment. She is currently without work and has used funds from her severance pay to help her family back home.

“I will continue to insist that Small World LCC return the money sent to me or make the payment in my country (Colombia). If not, I will file a complaint for scam with the competent authorities here in Barcelona,” says Mabel.

Another victim of Small World LCC this week is auto paint technician Adilson Mamede. Last week, he used a branch located in London to send £210 to Brazil to help with the purchase of tickets for family members to visit him. On Wednesday, after many days without the transaction being completed, Adilson visited the same location and was informed that the delay was due to technical issues with Small World LCC’s database and that the money would be available shortly at the intended destination. After 48 hours passed without any updates from the money transfer company, he returned to the branch, but this time, it was closed with several posters announcing the end of activities. He never got his money back.

Jennifer Cortegana, a student who lives in Peru, has been waiting for funds sent by her father, a transportation worker based in Spain, since June 7th.

“The money is intended to pay for my university and health bills. He used Small World LCC before and had no problems. Now they don’t respond to any form of contact. Their offices are closed and they do not respond to calls or emails,” worries Jennifer.

A Brazilian model who preferred to stay anonymous used Small World LCC for the first time last week in Italy, where she lives. The money sent to help her family in Brazil has never arrived, either. “I made the deposit via Small World on June 8th and was informed that it would be in the beneficiary’s account the next business day. The store is now closed, and the money has not been sent to my family,” says the freelancer professional, who managed to contact Small World LCC customer service but was informed that “there were some technical errors in the system, and there would be no date for returning to normal activities.”

Customers affected by Small World LCC payment delays are now getting together to try to recover their cash. Groups have been created on social media platforms such as Facebook and Telegram. The goal is to sue the company collectively for breach of contract.

Euronewsweek has reached out to Small World LLC using its telephone number available for customer service, as well as individual branches in the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy. Calls are being forwarded to voicemail, but no feedback or return calls are being carried out. Calls to the Small World LCC headquarters in Blackfriars, London, are being answered with a recorded message informing customers that the company is no longer accepting new registrations or making money transfers, and giving callers an email that is being answered with an automated message informing people how to track the status of their transactions.

The suspected collapse of Small World comes a few months after the company was fined £139,500 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom for breaching competition rules alongside two other transfer firms. In that case, the British regulator found Small World, Hafiz Bros and LCC Trans-Sending coordinated on certain exchange rates offered to customers in Glasgow for converting pounds to Pakistan Rupees when transferring money. 

Euronewsweek also reached out to Equistone Partners, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity firms, which invested in Small World Financial Services back in 2018 – but we had no reply from its UK office.

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Biggest hotel complex in Finland open its doors

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Biggest hotel complex in Finland open its doors
With a total of 37 500 square meters the hotels will offer 716 guest rooms in Helsinki

After almost three years of construction, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport and Comfort Hotel Helsinki Airport could finally open the doors to the biggest hotel complex in Finland.

With a total of 37 500 square meters, 716 guest rooms, 21 meeting rooms and a huge 826 m2 banquet hall, it is the largest hotel operation in Finland which has now opened right at the terminal of Helsinki Airport.

Combining two different brands and concepts under the same roof, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport and Comfort Hotel Helsinki Airport will cater for all kinds of travelers, travels, conferences and events.

“I am so happy to welcome our first guests to this big and beautiful hotel. The Clarion Hotel brand is already recognized as a meeting and event specialist in the Finnish market and with this hotel, we further emphasise this. Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport will put the Finnish capital higher on the European list of conference destinations and make Vantaa a more attractive area for the Finnish market,” says Tarja Jeskanen, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport.


The hotel has a rooftop terrace and the Finnish premiere of the restaurant concept NÒR, a modern brasserie with Nordic culinary traditions influenced by the best tastes from Europe. Here you can also enjoy a cocktail overlooking the runway.

In addition, there is a well-equipped gym, and a wellness area with an outdoor plunge pool, steam bath and of course a Finnish sauna.

“This is a huge step for Strawberry in Finland. By adding this jumbo hotel to our portfolio, we clearly state that we are serious about our ambitions to grow massively in the Finnish market. Our recently published projects in Turku and Hyvinkää show our plans stretch beyond Helsinki, but to achieve them, we need a strong foundation like the one we have in place with both our city hotels and the cluster with these two new hotels together with Clarion Hotel Aviapolis and the rebranded Comfort Hotel Xpress Helsinki Airport Terminal,” says COO of the Finnish operation in Strawberry, Erika Ehrnrooth.


Comfort Hotel and Comfort Hotel Xpress are new brands in the Finnish market. Both of them are centered on giving the guests what they need and offer what they want on individual demand. Whilst Comfort Hotel Helsinki Airport will offer their guests the same upscale breakfast as their sister hotel in the same building, the rebranded Comfort Hotel Xpress Helsinki Airport Terminal has breakfast options available, but not included.

Comfort Hotel Helsinki Airport and Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport share the same roof and will cooperate tightly. In total, the hotels can welcome more than 1500 guests, and together with the Comfort Hotel Xpress Helsinki Airport Terminal and Clarion Hotel Aviapolis, the total capacity will make Vantaa Finland’s best conference and event area.

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