1. Selection of the Government in charge of the iniative: Economic Director for the Asociacion de Comisionistas de Bolsa under the supervision of the National Council for Capital markets Initiative.
2. Develop the transparency/corporate governance structure that is adequate for SMEs according to business needs of SMEs while working within the idiosyncracies of the Colombian regulatory framework. Colombia has followed the COSO framework of internal controls, which is a US based formal framework, and this framework is applicable to large enterprises in Colombia, but not applicable to Colombian SMEs due to the complexity and prohibitive costs of implementation. The anticipated training plan is intended to take the fundamentals of the COSO framework and find a 'Colombian' way, which will not only adhere to regulatory requirements, but will also find a more cost effective and palatable way for Colombian SMEs to adopt the framework itself.
3. Develop a training and educational program applicable on a national level to all SMEs. Training program development will begin in September 2009 with a group of internal consultants from Confecamara, the governing entity in charge of registering commercial and industrial firms in Colombia. The internal consultants will be trained for a period of 1-2 months. In parallel to the consultant training, the town hall style business forums will also begin by the end of September 2009. The plan is to begin with the regions that have a high concentration of SMEs, such as Antioquia, Riaralda, Valle del Cauca, Boyaca, Atlantico, and Bogota. Each forum will be conducted in an interactive format, with no more than 50 entrepreneurs per session. Confecamaras will fund the logistics, and Adriana Sarmiento will also individually provide pro bono consulting services. PWC will provide any additional technical support as needed as part of the consulting agreement.
4. Create partnership with a multinational software company that will develop the necessary software to implement the corporate governance structure on a pro bono basis to all SMEs
5. Get funding from an international development bank to establish the necessary vehicle to provide sources of capital funding to SMEs
In Colombia, SMEs represent 90 percent of enterprises, 40 percent of new jobs, and 35 percent of GDP. However, they are limited in their access to funding due to their lack of formal structure and transparency of financial reporting. Developing a formal structure for SMEs in Colombia through this commitment will lead to social transformation, and provide the opportunity for more equitable distribution of wealth, new job creation, and greater development of the middle class.
SEEKING: financial assistance, implementing partners, best practice information. Partnership with a multinational software company. Credit line from development bank
OFFERING: best practice information.