IIC and Bancóldex Team Up to Promote Family Business Governance in Cali, Colombia

10/30/2011

Cali, Colombia — From October 24-27, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Bancóldex teamed up to host a workshop on governance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The purpose of the event was to give businesses in Cali an opportunity to learn about key aspects of family business governance, boost their competitiveness, and improve their chances at surviving generational transition. The event is part of IIC’s FINPYME Family Business program.

The workshop, which received financial support from the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund, addressed the three main challenges facing family businesses: developing business ownership responsibly and jointly, preparing for succession, and nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit. The workshop was led by Professor Gonzalo Gómez Betancour, a recognized expert, from Colombia’s INALDE Management and Business School. The IIC has already organized activities to promote family business governance in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Roberto Prieto Uribe, the IIC’s Alternate Executive Director for Chile and Colombia, noted, "I applaud this IIC initiative to promote discussion on issues of corporate governance among family businesses. After all, what kind of a future can a company that currently enjoys a significant market share have if responsibilities and leadership issues arising among its associates have not been clearly defined? This is indeed important, because any conflict between associates has the potential to transcend to the family. I urge you to take advantage of the opportunities the IIC has to offer in this regard. In addition to IIC resources to provide financing support to SMEs through programs such as FINPYME, the IIC also has significant know-how based on experience and lessons learned that is very, very useful. Many companies might have fared better if they had benefited from the expertise of an organization like the IIC."

According to Efrén Orlando Cifuentes, Business Training Coordinator at Bancóldex, "We are very pleased that this series of workshops on corporate governance for family businesses was held here in the city of Cali, given that 40 companies and 96 members of family businesses had the opportunity to participate in this event. We are confident that these workshops will have a significant impact on the participating companies. In fact, throughout the event, workshop participants have commented on the usefulness of the tools they have been learning about and their intention return to their businesses and begin putting some of these into practice. Bancóldex is especially thankful to the Inter-American Investment Corporation for its support in making this program possible, and to INALDE for the high quality of instruction, which have made this program highly successful."

"This workshop has undoubtedly proven very valuable to us, as we do not yet have these government or family entities in place, and everything we have learned here will help us determine how to go about implementing them, inasmuch as they will be essential for facilitating the entry of the third generation into the family business," noted Marcial Navarro, President on Magnetron, S.A.

About Bancóldex

Bancóldex S.A. is a second-tier bank associated with Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism. Its portfolio of products and services targets the business sector, with an emphasis on trade and business development for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. As a development bank, Bancóldex offers products and services that address market gaps or failures in terms of meeting the financial and nonfinancial needs of Colombia’s companies. For more information on Bancóldex’s products and services, see www.bancoldex.com

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved 49 operations channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit www.iic.org

Contact: Rebeca Sánchez de Tagle

Telephone: (202) 623-3636

Email: rebecast@iadb.org