Colombian government agency to allocate $24.6 million capital to founders


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Contxto – Although the Colombian government has had its ups and downs with revolutionary and innovative business models, it still has a soft spot for startups. Otherwise, why would he offer COP $78 billion (approximately US$24.6 million) seed capital to qualified entrepreneurs over four rounds?

In summary

Colombian leaders recently launched the SENA (National Apprenticeship Service) Entrepreneur Fund to support start-ups. Since entrepreneurship is a national priority, this government fund plans to finance more than 190 new business initiatives, regardless of the economic sector. More than 970 jobs could result from this effort.

“The SENA Entrepreneurship Fund’s support for new business ideas with financial, psychological, social and seed support, through the 4K entrepreneurship model, puts the needs of the Colombian entrepreneur at the center to ensure a comprehensive response” , mentioned Hernán Fuentes, Director of Employment, Labor and Entrepreneurship at SENA.

In depth

There will be four calls open to entrepreneurs through the SENA Entrepreneur Fund, the first of which started on July 9. The first-round resources of COP$20 billion are intended to sponsor the creation of new businesses while creating vehicles for social inclusion and economic development.

With this, he seeks to help Colombians turn their business ideas into tangible reality. This partly involves formalizing business arrangements while generating new employment opportunities for citizens over time.

Going forward, the second call for $18 billion COP will target entrepreneurs in the interior of Colombia. Third, seed capital of COP$20 billion will go to members of the Orange Economy.

This term refers to creative industries producing cultural goods and services that can be protected by intellectual property rights. These range from theater, art, music, design, advertising, jewelry, photography, digital animation, and more.

Finally, the fourth call for an additional COP$20 billion will help create more businesses, jobs and productivity in various economic sectors in Colombia.

The steps to apply are as follows:

  1. Once you have a business idea, you must visit one of the 117 SENA National Business Development Centers. You can find the closest here.
  2. If you meet all of the application requirements, SENA will assign you a manager to oversee your registration. They will also give access to the Entrepreneurs Fund platform to ensure your participation in one of the four open calls.
  3. After the evaluation process, your business plan will be considered viable or non-viable. If your application is approved, you will go through a resource approval process to become a seed capital recipient to launch your business.
  4. With new seed capital, you need to sign an Open Pledge Business Cooperation Agreement to formalize the new venture. The manager will continue to oversee the business for a year, focusing on scalability such as increasing sales, jobs, utilities, etc.

So far, the SENA Entrepreneurship Fund has allocated more than $596,800 and promoted more than 7,360 business plans. In doing so, it generated more than 29,500 jobs in more than 700 municipalities.

Some reports also call this fund one of the largest public funds in Latin America and the most influential in the Colombian entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Raising seed money is no easy task for Latin American startups, so programs like this hold immense potential. Let’s hope other countries replicate the Colombian model.

-JA

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