Looking back at Growing SMEs Latin America 2013

Growing SMEs Latin America 2013 took place from 23 to 25 November in Veracruz, Mexico. We look back at a successful event full of inspiring presentations and guests and a lot of networking opportunities. Around 1500 participants joined us for the event and got the chance to exchange propositions, advice and investment connections. Among these were some amazing BiD Network entrepreneurs from Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. A big thank you to everyone who made the last three days possible and a special thanks to our partner Fundación E. There was a lot of interest from investors, media and others and we even got featured in the local newspaper! What a perfect way to end Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013. The 10 entrepreneurs who were featured at the event and presented their business (plans): – Ivonne Hurtado of Mas Ambiente – Emilia Muñoz of BIOLEV – Juan Gabriel Martínez of Pigmalion – Mauricio Agudelo of Bialtec – Fortcell System – Andres Portilla of Equa Biotechnology – Luis Estevez of Croinfi Cía. Ltda. – Daniel Franco of Yaqua – Isabel Medem of X-runner – Delia Simental of Coco Chavita – David Castañeda Lara of Nopal...

GEC 2013 – Entrepreneurship as it should be

From March 18 to 21, Rio di Janeiro played host to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) where entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives and industry specialists – including BiD Network’s own Senior Advisor Maria Pontes – met to discuss practices and methods to facilitate entrepreneurship. The first two days of the conference hosted the main events with expert panels assembled to create dialog and discuss entrepreneurship trends. Day One Day one focused on policy. What can governments do something to spur entrepreneurship? Below are quotes from guest panelists that looked at how to support start-ups and smart government strategies to facilitate faster scaling of existing high growth firms. Lesa Mitchell (Kauffman Foundation): – ‘Crowd-funding will make a difference for how women will seek financing for their companies’ – ‘Start-up friendly legislation in the US is recent phenomena, only with Obama and the Jobs Act, Start-up 2.0 Act, Keep Brains, and visas for start up entrepreneurs.’ Conrad von Ingel (InnovaChile): – ‘Shake up the local ecosystem and connect with the world‘ Patrick Lim (SPRING Singapore): – ‘Messages should come from the successful entrepreneurs, they should act as role models.’ Esperanza Lasagabaster (World Bank): – ‘Micro-enterprise is a short term strategy for job creation, it is the high growth entrepreneurship that has the power to do this sustainably.’ Alessandro Fusacchia (Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development): – ‘We need ‘contamination labs at universities’, entrepreneurship is not made by business professors and students but by people across disciplines coming together.’ Daniel Isenberg (Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project): – ‘Entrepreneurship is natural, the government should just just remove the barriers to it.’ – ‘Unless the Brazilian government...

The Women in Business Challenge Awards

  The Growing SMEs Conference in The Hague witnessed the culmination for many of the challenges run throughout the year. After a long and arduous competition, the Women in Business Challenge reached its final stage at the conference. This was the third edition of the Women in Business Challenge, a competition that since 2009 has provided support, coaching, visibility and finance to over 600 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. This year the jury and sponsors noted a surge in the quality of business plans being submitted, making their task of selecting the finalists alone harder than ever. Selected from almost 300 applicants, the five finalists were chosen on account of their potential for growth and the overall quality of their business plans. While all five finalists did fantastically getting this far, there could only be one winner. Special congratulations should be awarded to the other four finalists – Kiki Kamanu and her eponymously named fashion label, Kosi Yankey and her company Nuba Foods, Stela Maris da Silva and BioPro, and Lois Gicheru and Solafrique. The winner of this competitive challenge, selected by our panel of expert judges mainly due to the potential societal impact her product could have, was Ella Peinovich and her innovative and empowering e-commerce platform, SasaAfrica. Ella Peinovich received a check for EUR 5,000 as reward for winning the Challenge as well as tailor-made advisory services worth €5,000 from UnitedSucces. Peinovich went on to state: “Sasa Africa is by and for women. According to some estimates, women represent 70 percent of the poor in the world. But at Sasa Africa we tend to look at their cultural...

The Final Hurdle – Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012

On November 15, De Investeerdersclub selected five winners of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012 with the most innovative Dutch business plans to create jobs and incomes in emerging markets. The five winners are: Meet Your Host, SYOU, Research Africa, O my bag and Vrindavan. The five winners had an extremely active role during Growing SMEs, in The Hague this November. Aside from participating in the marketplace, with 40 other entrepreneurs from around the world, they had the opportunity to pitch in a private room to the potential investors of De Investeerdersclub. The official award ceremony of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012 took place at the conference and saw partner organizations Ernst & Young and the HUB Amsterdam praise this year’s participants. The official award ceremony, while paying homage to the five winners, also took the time to present prizes for awards given by two of the competitions official partners. The coaching partner of the Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen, Ernst & Young, acknowledged the progress made by Jeroen Poole and his company S3C Solar. Awarding him EUR 2,000 in coaching hours with Ernst & Young, in recognition of the progress he made with his coach. His coach thought Jeroen epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit that this challenge is all about, and was so invigorated by Jeroen they intend to coach more entrepreneurs in the coming year. The HUB Amsterdam is a worldwide network of social entrepreneurs who believe there are no bad ideas, just bad infrastructure. The selection of the HUB Prize considered social impact the deciding fact, with this in mind Floor Montanus and her company Research Africa won the prize. Many thanks to...

Growing SMEs: Award Season and an Entrepreneur of the Year

With the Growing SMEs Conference imminent, the finalists of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen, the Women in Business Challenge and the Fast5 Challenge are now entering the final stage of the challenges. The culmination of these competitions will be announced at award ceremonies at the Growing SMEs Conference in The Hague. We will also be awarding the BiD Network Entrepreneur of the Year in the BiD Challenge International. The BiD Challenge International requested our partner countries submit at least two outstanding entrepreneurs from the last year. From this, eight competitors have been pre-selected: MobiStine – Palestine AxIS Investments Ltd. – Rwanda Iyara – Argentina Penda Health – Kenya HABI Footwear – Philippines Compost Liberia – Liberia Divine Masters – Uganda Hidroxiecuador – Ecuador As part of BiD Week, these entrepreneurs will be pitching their businesses to an expert jury. Choosing just three finalists will not be an easy task. The jury charged with this undertaking consists of: Kim Kiszelnik, Program Manager at Doen Foundation Saskia van der Mast, Investment Manager at dob Foundation Bob Assenberg, Goodwell Investments Karen Kammeraat, Informal Investor of De Investeerdersclub Margot Kam, Project Coordinator at Mesics Foundation During BiD Week, the business week preceeding the Growing SMEs Conference, all entrepreneurs receive extensive training, attend financial consultancy and B2B meetings, and have the opportunity to network with possible investors. The three finalists of the BiD Challenge International, chosen on November 14, will then pitch their businesses at the Growing SMEs Conference in front of an audience of peers, experts and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, attending in her role as Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development’ of...