Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 7, 2013


U.S. Department of State Special Representative for Global Partnerships Andrew O’Brien will lead a delegation of U.S. investors and entrepreneurs to Colombia on November 11-15th. Organized by the Aspen Institute, iNNpulsa, and Agora Partnerships, the delegation will advance the goals of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) by building partnerships between investors and small business service providers with the goal of expanding access to capital for small business. The delegation includes representatives from state governments, private equity, and angel investment communities. Additionally, several Colombian-American entrepreneurs will attend and share their experiences of operating ventures in the United States.

The delegation will visit Bogota to meet with representatives from the Government of Colombia to discuss opportunities for U.S. investors and entrepreneurs in Colombia. The group will then convene with leading investors, incubators, and accelerators in Colombia to explore potential partnerships on issues such as impact investing, financing for early stage companies, and opportunities to expand small business participation in trade. Finally, both U.S. and Colombian investors will attend a pitch session hosted by iNNpulsa at which 13 promising Colombian entrepreneurs will present their business ideas, and engage in discussions with investors to consider financing options.

The delegation will also travel to Medellin to meet with investors and entrepreneurs from Ruta N, one of Latin America’s up and coming hubs for innovation. The delegation will hear pitches from 11 local entrepreneurs and explore opportunities for collaboration with Medellin’s investment community.

Launched in 2012 at the Sixth Summit of the Americas, SBNA is President Obama’s signature initiative to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and small business growth in the Western Hemisphere. SBNA seeks to build connections between institutions providing counseling, training, financing, and other support services to small and medium businesses. In September 2012, following the May 2012 implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the United States and Colombia signed an agreement to ensure that small businesses in both countries are able to benefit from increased opportunities to trade internationally. In September 2013, small business development centers from the United States, Colombia, and 18 other countries in the hemisphere launched the SBNA “Sister Center” partnership to link small business assistance providers across the region to promote trade and job creation. The investor and entrepreneur delegation to Colombia, led by Special Representative Andrew O’Brien, is a further step in supporting small business in the Americas.

For more information on SBNA, click here. For inquiries on SBNA, contact SBNA@state.gov.

For a list of members of the U.S. delegations, see here. For a list of Colombian partners participating in meetings with the delegation, see here.

Follow #SBNA and #RedPymes on Twitter for program updates.

Press Contact:
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs/Public Affairs Unit
WHAPress@state.gov.



PRN: 2013/1361