Press Releases

IFC Helps Colombian Small Enterprises Improve Transparency to Strengthen Competitiveness

In Lima, Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin
Telephone: + 511 6112501

Bogota, Colombia, March 20, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Colombian small and medium enterprises  to  improve the transparency of their operations  and help them cut costs and  increase access to local and foreign markets.

IFC is organizing a day-and-a-half workshop on March 20-21 in Bogota that will equip these enterprises with an IFC SME Tool Kit containing practical guidelines on how to deal with integrity challenges.

The workshop aims to augment the tool-kit materials by soliciting feedback from participating SMEs, chambers of commerce, business associations, nongovernmental organizations, and technical experts on the first day, and hosting a dialogue with public officials the next morning.

“There is strong evidence that good performance on transparency can help SMEs save on costs, access financial markets, and become accredited suppliers to large international buyers,” said Irene Arias, IFC Manager for the Andean Region. “This is part of IFC’s initiatives in promoting good governance both in the private and public sectors to help lessen the constraints to business competitiveness.”

The participants will explore what companies can do on their own, and with other organizations, to improve their integrity practices. The dialogue with the public sector participants will address what the SMEs, NGOs and business groups expect from government in addressing small-enterprise integrity issues.

IFC is organizing similar workshops in four other countries to help improve SME competitiveness and growth worldwide.      

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit