Prof Marco Trombetta of IE Business School shares his recent executive development experience in Ghana. Cape Coast, November 2012. In a hot room where computers share the space with solar power charged lamps, Master in Finance students at IE Business School are asking questions to Veronica Kitti CEO of Alternative Sets of Assistance (ASA) Initiative,…Details
IE Focus | By Maria Luque, Professor at IE Business School
Microfinance has proved to be a prime tool in the fight against poverty, but it is not enough to eradicate it once and for all.
Microfinance, namely the provision of financial services for people on low incomes, has taken giant strides since the 1970s. It provided financial services for some 200 million people in 2011 according to the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and now impacts the lives of around 1 billion.
Microfinance institutions face big challenges. One such challenge is the impact of the world economic crisis which began to show in 2008, and which, according to Deutsche Bank Research, has caused a deceleration in the growth of assets, a drop in profitability, and a greater risk for portfolios. Another is the excessive focus on profit and the accelerated growth of some institutions, without the necessary institutional capacities or control. Even so, the microfinance industry continues to grow steadily and has demonstrated that in the right conditions it is a key tool in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Until recently we focused on talking about microfinance as a tool that could lift people out of extreme poverty, promote production, and empower women, all of which are development Millennium Development Goals and indispensable factors to strengthen economic and social growth in developing countries. But growth and investment in assets are not the only things that access to financial services brings.Details
Colombian entrepreneur Natalia Londoño is an alum of IE Business School’s Master in Sales and Marketing Management. She is about to head the opening of a new Becara Franchise in Bogota, which will be the first step in the firm’s expansion into Latin America. Becara has been operating in the field of design, production and distribution of furniture and interior design items for 44 years, and is now present in over 40 cities worldwide that include Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Istanbul and Jeddah.
You are heading the expansion of leading interior design retailer Becara in Colombia. Becara is now present in 7 countries, and the Bogota store marks the beginning of the firm’s operations in Latin America amid economic growth in the region. What made you decide to take on this project?
One of the main considerations was the contrast of Spain’s economic situation with what was happening in Latin America, particularly Colombia, my home country. Colombia is in the throes of expansion with a sustained annual economic growth rate of 4% in recent years, coupled with a trade balance surplus.
Coming back to Becara’s expansion in Colombia, Becara is a leader in the furniture and decoration sector. I met its founder in 2011, which coincided with a decision to return with my family to live in Colombia after twelve years in Spain. I was invited to get to know more about Becara, and the moment I saw the 22,000m2 warehouse in Valdemoro I realized that this was a great company with excellent potential in a country that is growing as fast as Colombia.Details
Various IE Business School alumni spoke to current students about career changes, how to deal with failure, and about keeping your mind open.