The Italian Development Trust Fund Sponsors the IIC’s First Training Workshop for Small and Medium-size Family Businesses in Panama


Training Workshop focused on Family Business Strategic Management and Governance

Panama City, Panama – From October 3 to 6, 2007, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) held its first training workshop on strategy management and governance for small and medium-size family businesses. The workshop was partially funded by the IIC’s Italian Trust Fund.

Thirty participants from ten family companies representing eight countries (Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru) attended the four-day workshop.

The training workshop was held in Spanish by professors from the SDA Bocconi School of Management, based in Milan, Italy ( SDA Bocconi is a renowned business school in Europe and has professors with vast experience in issues related to the management and governance of small and medium-size family businesses.

The training workshop was organized into two modules of two days each. The first module was on business strategy for SMEs, while the second was on business family governance. The goal of this workshop was to offer family businesses the opportunity to discuss and learn about strategy and governance issues that boost family business competitiveness and improve their governance practices in order to increase their chances of long-term continuity. While family businesses account for the majority of companies in Latin America and the Caribbean, they have had a striking failure rate. In order to help SMEs in the region, the IIC plans to organize and sponsor this type of educational workshops on a regular basis.

This initiative grows out of a recommendation by the IIC Board of Executive Directors to focus on the promotion of best practices of governance of family-owned companies. Mr. Daniel Facusse, President of the Board of Caracol Knits, a textile manufacturing company in Honduras, reported that "this workshop on the governance of family-owned companies has sparked a change in the entrepreneurial culture that will ensure better governance practices as well as the sustainability of companies not only for current generations but also for generations to ome."

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. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by stimulating 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

Contact: Mario Mahler/Jorge Roldán

Telephone: (202) 623-3924/(202) 623-3948

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