BiD Network Visits Campus

November 15, 2007

Yesterday Global Initiatives and the Blum Center co-hosted the founder of the BiD Network for an evening of discussion about providing access to capital for SMEs in developing countries.

The BiD Network is a social enterprise based in Amsterdam that aims to contribute to sustainable economic development by stimulating entrepreneurship in developing countries. They do this by hosting a number of business plan competitions (called BiD Challenge) in several developing countries with the help of local NGOs. They also have an online BiD Network which connects mentors from Europe with entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Thierry Sanders and Koen Wasmus shared with us their plans to transition the organization from running business plan competitions that provide limited prize money to providing ongoing access to capital by creating a deal-flow model linking entrepreneurs and investors more immediately.

The BiD Network isn’t the only organization looking into the issue of capital for SMEs. Google.org has partnered with Technoserve to run a number of business plan competitions branded Believe, Begin, Become in a number of developing countries. It will be interesting to see if these organizations can collaborate to serve the SME customers in these regions in a coordinated fashion.

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