IIC Brings Innovation To Dominican Exporters, Turning Risk Into Business Opportunities

11/15/2011

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – On November 8 and 9, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), hosted a workshop on strategic innovation for Dominican entrepreneurs, as part of the FINPYME ExportPlus program, designed to provide technical assistance to companies in the export sector of the Dominican Republic.

Forty-five people from 33 companies participated in the workshop, which was held at and supported by the Institute of Exterior Commerce and Investment of the Dominican Republic (i*CEI). The IIC’s local agent, the Dominican Exporters Association (ADOEXPO), adopted the workshop to cater to Dominican exporters’ realities.

"Dominican exporters understand that the development of a global market is necessary and that a substantial number of SMEs are already exporting. But as much as the overseas market promises growth, it also poses risks to smaller companies. Innovation is key to managing the dual nature of the export strategy. Workshops like this one ensure that the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program is genuinely accessible to local SMEs," noted Jouhyun Park, the IIC consultant in charge of the workshop.

"It’s about being able to bridge the gap between the reality of the market and the ideas and goals in your head," said Jack Astacio, sales and marketing director and owner of J&J Spirits, S.R.L., which is developing traditional Dominican liquor for the international market. "I had my own idea about what innovation is and what it could theoretically do for my company. But like I said, it was in my head. The workshop has fired up these thoughts in my head and got me thinking about how I can translate the perceptions of opportunity I see into a real strategy that my company can really use."

This focus on the practical tools that can take the concept of innovation into a series of tangible components was also shared by Roberto Rodríguez Mansfield of Caribbean Liquid Sugar, a company which has implemented the strategy of development and innovation from the get-go: "There has always been a visceral understanding of the necessity of innovation. So I came to the workshop to see if I could find a way for my company to use this rather abstract idea, and I am really pleased that there is actually a system that gives us very common sense advice. I was especially impressed with the idea that it is not about being afraid of the product lifecycle and trying to create some super product that stays in the market forever, but seeing the opportunities for new products hidden in the changes so that when one matures and fades, we have another product to take its place."

Participation in the FINPYME ExportPlus program is free of charge to participating companies thanks to financial support from a key IIC donor, the Republic of Korea. For more information on the program, please contact Mr. Omar Castellanos in the Dominican Republic at ocastellanos@adoexpo.org or (809) 567-6779.

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: Jouhyun Park

Telephone: (202) 623-2165

Email: jouhyunp@iadb.org