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Colombia: Technical Workshop – Financial Inclusion of SMEs and Development Banks

6 October 2016|Event

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) organized a technical workshop with the aim to promote financial inclusion through development bank financial innovation policies. The workshop is part of ECLAC’s "Financial Inclusion of SMEs and Development Bank Financial Innovation Policies" project whose aim is to analyze the state of financial inclusion in a number of Latin American countries . The final objective of the project is to identify and promote development of a spectrum of financial instruments which allow development banks to foster financial inclusion of SMEs, given that these businesses play a central role in the productive fabric and job creation.

A financial system is considered inclusive if it provides formal financial services access to those that lack it, and if it facilitates full usage of financial products and services for those that are already part of the formal financial system, and in this way contributing to the reduction of poverty and inequality. The development of financial instruments that correspond to businesses’ specific financing needs, depending on their stage of productive and technological processing, could be considered – in addition to financial inclusion – a productive investment. With this aim development banks could play an essential role in creating and establishing mechanisms and instruments by introducing new capacities, competencies and processes that improve the efficiency and creation of new financial products and services to satisfy the demand of SMEs.

ECLAC convokes this workshop to present and analyze the results of the study for Colombia; and extends this invitation to some of the country’s specialized entities to give them the opportunity to demonstrate and present their experiences with different financial instruments and policies that promote financial inclusion of SMEs.




Opening (Juan Carlos Ramírez, Director of the ECLAC Office in Colombia)


Session 1: Objectives and central hypotheses of the project promoting financial inclusion of SMEs through development bank innovation policies

Presentation of the project Financial Inclusion for SMEs and Development Banks led by Esteban Pérez, head of the unit Financing for Development at ECLAC


Session 2: Financial inclusion of SMEs in Colombia: stylized facts, measurement and challenges, development bank programs and instruments for promoting financial inclusion

Presentation of the paper: “Financial Inclusion of SMEs in Columbia (in Spanish)” by Luis Alberto Zuleta (Consultant)

Comments by Natalia Salazar, Subdirector of Fedesarrollo

Moderator: Olga Lucía Acosta

Open discussion




Session 3: The experience of Mexico and Ecuador: Financial inclusion of SMEs 

Presentations by Ramón Lecuona (Consultant, México) and Sylvia Neira Burneo (Consultant, Ecuador)

Moderator: Cornelia Kaldewei

Open discussion


Session 4: Panel: Instruments and public policies for financial inclusion of SMEs 

David Malagón (ANIF)

Jorge Leal Ussa (CONFECOOP)

Pedro Julio Villabón González (BANCÓLDEX)


Moderator: Ramón Lecuona

Open discussion




Session 5: Panel: Experiences of financial inclusion and the role of innovation


Lina Parra (INNPULSA)

Álvaro Andrés Vernazza (UNIVERSIDAD SANTO TOMÁS)

Esmeralda Villalobos (CORPORACIÓN PBA)


Moderator: Sylvia Neira

Open discussion



Practical information

Workshop held in Spanish