IIC to launch the FINPYME Program in Colombia with support from universities, chambers of commerce, and banks


The program, presented in Medellín during the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and the IIC, will facilitate access to financing for small and medium-size Colombian enterprises

Medellín, Colombia - The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) announced today that it will work with nine leading institutions to launch its FINPYME® program in Colombia. FINPYME is a diagnostic review methodology designed to help small and medium-size enterprises become more competitive and make it easier for them to access financing. Resources for this initiative in Colombia come from the generous support of the Spanish Framework–General Cooperation Fund administered by the IDB.

The IIC, which specializes in SMEs and is affiliated with the Inter-American Development Bank Group, presented its initiative during the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IIC and the IDB. The meetings are being held this month in Medellín.

Universities and the chambers of commerce of Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín will participate in the launching, as will leading Colombian financial institutions. Representatives from these institutions and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the IIC, signed a letter of intent for the program at the close of SME Day events at Medellín’s Plaza Mayor convention center.

According to President Moreno, "The FINPYME program complements other actions that the IDB Group is taking to foster sustainable economic growth. FINPYME will give us a clear idea of how competitive our enterprises are, and it will spell out what they should do to improve their chances for growing and competing in the global market."

Universidad EAFIT in Medellín, Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, and Universidad ICESI in Cali will participate as FINPYME agents. They will assign business management experts to perform diagnostic reviews of SMEs chosen to participate in the program. For the IIC, university involvement in the initiative is key to strengthening ties between academia and the business sector.

This partnership with the Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín chambers of commerce will help make the business community aware of the program’s benefits and enable it to perform more diagnostic reviews in Colombia. This is in line with the mission of these organizations, which includes improving the business environment and providing services to Colombia’s SMEs.

The involvement of financial institutions is also a key component of the program. Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia (Bancóldex), Bancolombia, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Colombia have extended their support for the initiative. In addition to contributing their expertise and their ability to provide technical assistance to SMEs, they are offering a wide range of products and services—including financing for productive projects.

Universidad EAFIT Rector Juan Luis Mejía Arango, Universidad ICESI Rector Francisco Piedrahíta Plata, and Universidad de los Andes Professor Javier Serrano Rodríguez signed the letter of intent. Signing for the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce was its Executive President, María Fernanda Campo Saavedra. President Julián Domínguez signed for the Cali Chamber of Commerce; Executive President Lina Vélez de Nicholls signed for the Medellín Chamber of Commerce for Antioquia. President Gustavo Ardila Latiff signed for Bancóldex, Vice President Santiago Pérez Moreno signed for Bancolombia, and President Oscar Cabrera signed for BBVA Colombia.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides 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 2008, the IIC approved sixty-four transactions channeling US$300.5 million to small- and medium-size enterprises in the region. 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. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Jorge Roldán / Sylvia Szankay

Telephone: (202) 746-0608/(202) 623-3878

Email: jorgero@iadb.org / sylviasz@iadb.org