And the Small & Medium Enterprise of the Year Award goes to…

Facialteam is the first company dedicated to the trans, gender diverse and nonbinary community to be awarded the Small & Medium Enterprise of the Year Award by the Malaga Chamber of Commerce. More than 1,766 companies from the province competed for this 6th annual recognition of merit, but only 5 were selected.

Criteria of the SME of the Year Award

Every year, the chambers of commerce in each province congratulate the efforts of one small or medium business out of many whose activities are fundamental to the economy. This year, of 21 finalists in Malaga, Facialteam received the highest honor for excellence in generating new jobs, educational efforts, modernizing with digital technologies and reaching markets beyond Spanish borders through responsible strategies.

In addition, four other candidates were noted for outstanding activity in each of the following categories: 

  1. Internationalization 
  2. Digitalization & Innovation 
  3. Training & Employment  
  4. Environmental Sustainability 

To be eligible for the award, businesses in 51 provinces were subject to specific criteria, such as having less than 250 employees and a reported gross profit under 50 million euros in 2021. 

The jury, composed of corporate business executives and government officials, highlighted Facialteam for excellence in generating employment with an innovative internationalization model that has taken advantage of digitalization in nearly every aspect of business. Judges also commended Facialteam for active development of new surgical technologies, a marked contribution to scientific research, professional training programs, in addition to its distinctive social commitment. 

Provincial award winners will again be judged at the national level in early 2023 in Madrid, where the royal majesty the king presided in the previous edition in 2021. Over 7,400 entrepreneurs have competed since its inception.

A Spanish surgical group, a world leader in transgender facial surgery

This year’s award, which was co-created in 2017 by national banking giant Banco Santander, is not exceptional because it has gone to a pioneering company in a medical niche.

What is remarkable is that this award goes to a company which is dedicated almost exclusively to healthcare for transgender women. To a group of professionals which relatively few people outside the trans health sector know is a pioneering force in the field of facial gender affirming surgery. This fact says so much about the progressive mindset of the business leaders in Malaga province and their value of services which are “Made in Spain.” 

“Andalusia is third in Spain in the number of active small and medium enterprises, continually more innovative and competitive on the international scale.”

In addition to the introduction by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, other words were shared by the commercial director of the news outlet El Diario SUR and the Andalusian SME Director of Banco Santander. Representatives of the provincial and regional government included the Delegate for Andalusian Employment & Business as well as the Deputy Mayor and councilor for Malaga Town Hall’s Business & Investor Promotion delegation. 

“We encounter many challenges but also many opportunities, which we must take advantage of to grow.”

The survival and perseverance of a facial feminization clinic

Facialteam was founded in Marbella 12 years ago under the legal name Sicap Healthcare SLP, in the midst of a financial crisis, by two surgeons with a vision to develop a little known and even taboo area of ​​health: Facial Feminization Surgery. 

The Andalusian company, with more than 45 employees, now has five lines of business and a non-profit foundation. More than 2,100 transgender and non-binary people from 63 countries have received 6,000 surgical procedures, now providing 350 surgeries a year between its two centers in Marbella and Barcelona. Facialteam’s Research and Education Department has published 31 scientific articles to date on surgical techniques and protocols in Facial Feminization Surgery, receiving the American Association of Plastic Surgeons “Best Article of the Year ” in 2015 as well as “Best Paper Award” of the June 2020 edition.

Likewise, it is also worth highlighting its efforts in professional development, with three lines of continuing education in Facial Feminization Surgery on the road towards the standardization of good clinical practices in trans medicine. 

The groundbreaking FFS Training Program is the first and only international surgical training program of its type, whose latest edition this November featured guest speakers from Harvard University (Boston, MA, USA). Its commitment to innovate and make visible the discipline of facial feminization has attracted the most respected professionals in transgender health from Japan, Thailand, the United States and Europe to its headquarters at HC Marbella International Hospital (Marbella, Malaga).

Dr. Daniel Simon, co-founder & co-CEO, comments: “Twelve years ago, despite the economic crisis, we launched this company with the hope of improving the world through our field of health. This recognition reminds us of our dedication and perseverance.” Co-CEO and co-founder, Dr. Luis Capitan, adds: “My sincere and deep gratitude to those who, from the beginning, believed in two young people who opted for the road less traveled and delved into a largely undeveloped and, to a certain extent, marginalized healthcare discipline.”

A win for Trans Healthcare

This recognition is remarkable also for the visibility it gives to trans healthcare. Especially considering the climate in some countries where transgender people and their medical providers are publicly and vocally discriminated against. The transgender community has lost many lifetimes fighting for equality, including access to health services. 

Unfortunately, only in recent years have university training programs for transgender health workers been created, meaning the availability of inclusive services in most areas remains scarce. The reality is that it’s rare for clinics, whether private or public, to offer adequate attention for patients of diverse gender identities. Even fewer provide high-quality services in welcoming safe spaces for trans people. 

Facialteam’s mission has always been, is and will be to change this reality for the transgender community.

Patient Relations Manager Lilia Koss, presentator of Lilia's Livestreams
About the author

Hello world! I’m Lilia Koss and I use she, her, and they pronouns. What are yours? With a background in humanities and diverse professional experiences, I have been working with the Facialteam founders and directors since 2008. Involved from the ground up, so I’ve had hands in many pots: patient coordination, orientation events on 3 continents, social media, written and audiovisual content about our gender-affirming healthcare...but now life is more defined. Lately, I focus my energies on Public Relations, community management and live streaming to help raise the visibility of trans health. Life is pretty complete.