Regional Meeting of High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Bogotá, Colombia, December 1st of 2014 — As part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota (CCB) conducted the International Meeting on High-Impact Entrepreneurship, where 100+ people from 17 nationalities participated. This event took place in November 19-20 in Bogota, Colombia.

The program of this International meeting included plenary sessions, dialogues and international networking sessions, where representatives of different sectors and entrepreneurs managed to exchange ideas and learned influencing factors for dynamic start-ups. CCB and YABT also provided a space to address the challenges facing the region aimed at increasing capacity building and support companies with high added value.

Senior officials of YABT, CCB and INNpulsa Colombia conducted the opening ceremony. Organizers gave a special thanks to national and international speakers for making an extra effort to participate in the panels of this meeting. The keynote address was given by Marco Kamiya, Economist, Department of Urban Economy and Finance of UN HABITAT, Global Headquarters in Kenya; entitled "Competitive Cities and Dynamic Entrepreneurship". Kamiya highlighted the situation of entrepreneurship over the past 15 years, as well as the advancements and principles that have had an impact, urban trends, and opportunities for entrepreneurs and challenges in productivity.

During the meeting, two round tables took place. In the first panel, entitled "Progress and new actions: Developing Transformative Businesses", participants from renowned Universities in Colombia and Mexico discussed the characteristics of transformative businesses, and the business environment that the region requires to become a more competitive and friendly for high-Impact ventures.

The second day of the meeting began with the Start-ups Panel “Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Globalization”. Young entrepreneurs with start-ups in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela took part in this panel. In doing so, they shared their experiences and lessons learned from their own path in consolidating their businesses. Also, they shared their views about the transition and scalability of their start-ups in turning their entrepreneurial dreams into solutions of high value for their communities.

Moreover, the second round table, entitled "Public-Private Partnerships for the development of policies and resources for high-impact ventures", counted on the participation of government experts in El Salvador, Mexico and Paraguay. This discussion focused on intersectoral mechanisms for defining effective public policies with the aim of strengthening business support systems.

"This type of meetings with stakeholders who are working on entrepreneurship in different countries have a positive impact on institutional strengthening, networking and collaboration between the participating countries; since there are countries that are more advanced on the subject of entrepreneurship and it is necessary to share their experiences”, asserted Olman Alvarez from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), a member of the Regional Project BUILD.

This international meeting also represented an opportunity for the University of the Andes to present the results of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)- Bogotá, specifically the study of High Impact Entrepreneurship in Colombia.

The last panel, entitled "NexLinks: Support and Monitoring System for Young Entrepreneurs” featured experiences and best practices from YABT NexLinks Regional Centers from entities from Colombia, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Panelists shared validated models of management to support microenterprises in their early stage and scale-up stage.

At the closing ceremony of the event YABT/OAS, the Vice-president of Business Strengthening at the CCB, Mrs. María Isabel Agudelo,received a recognition from YABT Founder Roy Thomason for his extensive work in promoting entrepreneurship among young people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The meeting is the result of close cooperation between the YABT and CCB. A partnership that has an impact not only in Bogotá, or Colombia, but also at the hemispheric level as it was demonstrated today with this conference", confessed YABT Founder Roy Thomasson.

The photo gallery of the Meeting is available here.

To learn more about the event, you can consult the agenda here.