Colombia, considered by many experts to be an important emerging market, has been able to overcome a number of significant challenges that have brought its economy to a recurring growth rate of above 4% - in spite of global economic crises - with new exploitation of natural resources and seemingly ever increasing foreign direct investment. Nonetheless, income inequality indicators would put the country towards the top of the list of nations with high income disparity.
SMEs in Colombia currently make up 96% of all businesses in the country, generate more than 70% of all employment, yet only contribute a mere 40% of GDP. Given the economic reality in Colombia, support for SMEs is fundamental to ensuring more inclusive development in the country.
For these reasons, the BoP Challenge makes a great opportunity for students of business and other related fields to put their skills to the test in providing a service to an emerging market small business. Additionally, students would be able to enjoy the richness that Colombia offers in terms of culture, diversity, landscape and gastronomy during their visit.
The BoP Challenge is carried out in two main stages. One is a virtual stage and the other involves a week field visit to Colombia. The virtual stage would involve training that would give students context as to the Colombian economy, SMEs as well as the methodology used to design and deliver market entry proposals. After, students will be assigned a team and company with which to work. Download BoP challenge brochure to learn more.