IIC and Bancóldex team up to promote family business governance

06/19/2011

Event is part of FINPYME® Family Business program

Medellín, Colombia - From June 14 to 17, 2011, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Bancóldex teamed up to host a Governance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to give businesses in Medellín an opportunity to learn about key aspects of family business governance, to boost their competitiveness and improve their chances at surviving generational transition.

The workshop, which received financial support from the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund, addressed the three main challenges family businesses face: developing business ownership responsibly and jointly, preparing for succession, and nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit. The workshop was given 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, Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

According to Efrén Orlando Cifuentes, Bancóldex S.A.’s Business Training Coordinator, "At Bancóldex we believe that entrepreneurs not only require financial resources, but also need to improve their understanding of such areas as corporate governance practices. Businesses that strengthen their corporate governance strategies are more likely to endure. We treasure our alliance with the IIC, which enables us to develop this type of program and benefits a large group of Colombian entrepreneurs by providing them with tools to develop both their families and their businesses."

Luis Carlos Isaza, Firplak S.A.’s Manager, stated: "We seek to expand our international production and sales, and we are aware of the importance of accessing international investment banking and financing. Therefore, proving our corporate governance skills and planning for succession is key. I have led this business for 30 years and, although I was not familiar with the IIC before, this workshop has given me insight on valuable training initiatives, such as this one. I hope to become an IIC client in the future."

According to Rebeca Sánchez de Tagle, IIC Institutional Affairs Officer, "The enormous importance of family businesses to Latin America’s economy makes these types of workshops, which aim to strengthen their longevity and future growth, a very high–return investment."

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 forty-nine operations channeling US$374.8 million to SMEs in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int

Contact: Amparo de San José Riestra

Telephone: (202) 623-3921

Email: amparori@iadb.org