Colombia is developing a business sector led by women entrepreneurs. The country, not just known for its vibrant culture, is now in the spotlight for its emerging female business leaders. The National Entrepreneurship Context Index (NECI) places Colombia 35th among 54 countries, highlighting its supportive business environment.
From 2016 to 2018, Colombia saw an increase in businesses led by women. With the aid of entities like the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, women founded over 5,000 companies. This growth represents a shift in societal dynamics. Colombian women entrepreneurs are now key players in the nation’s economic growth, moving beyond traditional family roles and using financial independence as a tool against domestic violence.
Spotlight on trailblazing Colombian women entrepreneurs
Ana Sandoval, Gigliola Aycardi, and Manuela Sanchez stand out as Colombian women at the forefront of high-impact technological entrepreneurship. Ana Sandoval, a co-founder of Bold, has been instrumental in shaping the fintech landscape in Colombia, introducing innovative solutions to the financial sector. Gigliola Aycardi, with her co-founding role at Bodytech, has transformed the fitness industry, integrating technology to enhance health and wellness services. Manuela Sanchez, as a co-founder of Laika, has influenced the pet care industry, utilizing technology to offer comprehensive services for pet owners. Together, these three entrepreneurs exemplify the rising influence of women in Colombia’s tech sector, leading ventures that are making a substantial mark both nationally and internationally.
Education as the driving force
The surge in women’s entrepreneurship in Colombia is closely linked to education. There has been a rise in women’s participation in higher education in recent years. In 2016, 60% of Colombian women aged 17-21 were enrolled in tertiary education, surpassing the 50% enrollment rate of their male counterparts. Universities offering courses in entrepreneurship, particularly in business administration, have contributed to this trend.
Colombia’s support for women entrepreneurs is boosted by a network of diverse institutions, each contributing uniquely to their success. Bancoldex, the national development bank, provides tailored financial services and credit facilities, crucial for female-led small and medium-sized enterprises. iNNpulsa Colombia, a government initiative, focuses on enhancing innovation and competitiveness, offering specialized programs for women. SENA, renowned for its vocational training, extends its expertise to include entrepreneurship support, mentoring, and guidance tailored to women’s business needs.
Global networks like the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization and the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Network offer platforms for networking, mentorship, and resource sharing. Locally, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce provides invaluable training, networking events, and advisory services specifically designed for women entrepreneurs in the capital. Together, these institutions form a robust framework, supporting the growth and development of women-led businesses across Colombia.