Barbados has been chosen to host FOROMIC 2012
Barbados has been chosen to host FOROMIC 2012, the biggest business conference in Latin America and the Caribbean.
FOROMIC, which is the Spanish acronym for Inter-American Forum on Micro-enterprise, takes place from October 1st – 3rd, 2012 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
It is the leading micro-finance and micro-enterprise development event in the region and Barbados is the first English-speaking Caribbean country to host it. The focus this time around is on innovative ways to unlock entrepreneurship.
The conference is organized by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group.
This year, it is being held in association with the host country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, whose minister Christopher Sinckler has underscored its importance.
He said: “This conference is the single greatest contributor to the intellectual discourse that needs to take place. It will also highlight the practical interventions required to sustainably build-out a sustained small, micro enterprise business sector in the region and the hemisphere.”
Among the stakeholders expected to attend are representatives from micro-finance institutions, associations of micro-entreprises and micro-entrepreneurs, enterprise development service providers, chambers of commerce and academia.
Some of the topics to be covered include: Responsible Finance and Social Performance, Innovative MSME Finance, Savings for low-income population and New Business Models for Micro-insurance.
Since FOROMIC began in 1998, microenterprise development, in particular microfinance, has evolved to become one of the most successful, fastest growing and efficient mechanisms for supporting money-making activities among low income people and disadvantaged groups.
It is for this reason, that financially empowering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) is regarded as one of the most effective ways to overcome the challenges of poverty.
The conference empowers MSMEs by bringing together leaders in the area of small business development and microfinance.
The meeting provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge on best practices and strategies to promote entrepreneurship and economic activity in the sector. It also serves as a meeting place for networking and business deals.
While the focus of the conference will be on the broader region of Latin America and the Caribbean, there will be some direct benefits for Barbados.
For example, more than a thousand (1,000) participants are expected to attend, resulting in a positive economic impact during what is a traditionally low season for the tourism industry in Barbados.
In addition, there will be opportunities to further market Barbados’ goods and services to the Latin American market.
FOROMIC’s potential to foster significant change is evident in the development of microfinance since it was established. When it was launched 14 years ago, the region had just 205 micro-finance institutions serving 1.5 million clients.
Now, due in no small measure to the conference and the IDB Group, Latin America alone has more than 600 of such institutions, catering to about 12.5 million clients and providing loans to the tune of more than $15 billion annually.
September 24th, 2012