Innovation, Technology and Knowledge to Better Serve the Latin American and Caribbean Small & Medium Enterprises
Opportunity. Potential. Disruption. Economic Growth. Today, these are prominent keywords when referring to the issue of access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Despite their potential to drive sustained economic growth, many SMEs are constrained by a lack of financing. However, new technologies, infrastructure, and business models around the world are making room for innovations that can dramatically improve SME access to finance.
On September 21-22, 2015 in Medellin, Colombia, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) held the “FINPYME Forum: The 1st LAC Forum for Innovation in SME Finance.” The Forum consisted of a two-day conference with plenary sessions, panel sessions, latest FinTech demo sessions, as well as ample networking time. Its ultimate purpose was to catalyze and accelerate financial innovation in the region and help financial intermediaries identify opportunities to expand SME portfolios, manage risk effectively, and better understand their clients’ needs.
FINPYME Forum featured leading global experts and innovators in the SME finance space who discussed the tenets of leading global models and explored the possibilities for the region. Moreover, innovation pioneers from around the world had the opportunity to pitch their solutions during short, yet dynamic demonstrations that allowed participants to discover viable means of improving competitiveness by reaching a greater portion of the SME market.
More than 450 professionals from 42 countries attended the Forum, and benefitted from networking with an extraordinary group of financial institutions, FinTech companies, innovators, and other vital ecosystem participants.
In organizing this event the IIC was joined by the Inter-American Development Bank as well as the SME Finance Forum, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). It is worth mentioning that this was the first time that the most important development multilateral institutions for the region joined efforts to put together a conference to promote innovation in the SME finance space.