Entrepreneurs have the option of establishing their venture at home or relocating abroad. On the surface, domestic entrepreneurs assume in-depth knowledge of their home market from the economic climate to their competition. International entrepreneurs, however, require “a combination of innovative, proactive, and risk-seeking behavior that crosses national borders and is intended to create value in organizations” (McDougall & Oviatt). These foreign players benefit from the growth opportunities and the access to new markets abroad. However, the challenges of internationalization for a young firm may vary across countries.
Entrepreneurs can partake in internationalization through:
1. Exporting – the sales of goods manufactured in the home country to clients abroad
2. Licensing – granting a foreign entity the rights to use a patent, trade mark, technology, production process, or product
3. Opening an office in a foreign country
From the “Journal of International Entrepreneurship”, a study traces three differences in domestic and international entrepreneurs:
1. Entrepreneurial team experience
3. Industry structure
Due to the added complexity of going abroad, international entrepreneurs tend to concentrate in a group setting for ease of management and operation. Domestic entrepreneurs, on the other hand, can suffice with a single decision-maker. The study also suggests that successful teams of international entrepreneurs possess high industry knowledge and international experience.
Furthermore, they tend to adopt more aggressive and innovative strategies and rely on product differentiation to enter the foreign market. Lastly, international entrepreneurs often occupy knowledge-intensive and technology-intensive industries, especially those that are already globally-integrated. To compensate for the lack of direct experience and knowledge of the foreign country, international entrepreneurs would need to be more proactive in making their presence known and reputable.
In recent years, initiatives to provide equal opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs have become more popular. INNpulsa Colombia is one of the programs created by the national government to promote business innovation and foster entrepreneurship. Catalina Ortiz Lanlinde, General of INNpulsa Colombia, comments on the need “to attract human capital [from abroad] to create businesses, research and generate innovation” in Colombia.
For this purpose, INNpulsa Colombia offers grants, such as iNNpulsa MiPyme and Seed Capital EDI, for both national and foreign entrepreneurs. Consequently, equal access to resources and credits attract more entrepreneurs into the country and contribute to the overall economic growth.
Please see Financial Resources for more information on grants.
Exchanges of entrepreneurs across borders is highly encouraged for the trade of goods and ideas. Proexport, a government agency that seeks to promote tourism, foreign investment, and exports, organizes domestic and international events to attract entrepreneurs to Colombia. Recently, Proexports partnered with several Israeli government entities to host a seminar for more than 150 Israeli entrepreneurs interested in doing business in Colombia. The event was held in Tel Aviv, Israel to promote tourism, manufacturing and services sectors.
Colombia hopes to acquire Israeli’s technology for water waste reduction; in return, Isreali has a niche in its market for Colombian fruit products. President of the Colombia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Luis Szapiro, believes the “two countries complement each other through trade because Colombia has products that are not produced in Israel. Therefore, the exchange is desirable to sustain international relations and satisfy demand and supply.
An important note to take away is that entrepreneurship is an engine of growth in emerging markets like Colombia. Providing equal access and opportunity for both domestic and international entrepreneurs is a goal and a priority for Colombia to continue its rise.
Doing Your Research
From Colombia Reports, an article on Bob Reisenweber, an American entrepreneur who successfully started companies like Luxury, Peru Mix, and Sparkly Girls in Medellin, provides tips for foreign entrepreneurs:
1. Live in the country first – to familiarize with the business culture and economic climate
2. Develop and expand your network – to discover potential partners and clienteles
3. Hire a good accountant and lawyer – to save time and money when dealing with tax and legal issues
4. Learn Spanish!
For International Entrepreneurs
To do business in Colombia, the following issues should be considered:
1. Visa Requirements
2. Tax Obligations
3. Language Study
Foreign entrepreneurs must provide proper documentations of their entry and stay in Colombia. The following visa options are available:
1. Business Visa
2. Colombia Business Associate/Business Owner Visa
3. Colombia Work Visa
4. Colombia Investors Visa
Please see Legal Considerations for more information.
In general, foreign entrepreneurs and business entities are taxed only on their Colombian-source income. Individuals and entities can be considered a Colombian resident for tax purposes depending on the circumstances:
|- If he/she stays in Colombia for more than 6 months in the tax year (continuous or non-continuous)|
- If his/her family lives in Colombia even though the individual is outside the country
- If his/her main place of business is in Colombia even though the individual is outside the country
|- Domiciled in Colombia
- Established under the laws of Colombia
- Management is in Colombia
Please see Legal Considerations for more information.
Knowing Spanish is a great asset for foreign entrepreneurs in Colombia. Several options are available:
1. University Language Programs
2. Language Schools
3. Private Lessons
University Language Programs
|Universidad EAFIT||Courses can be semi-intensive (2 hours/day for 4 weeks) or intensive (4 hours/day for 2 weeks). Discount is given for more than one course.||Jaime Alberto Naranjo Spanish Program Coordinator for Foreigners 7 Sur Cra. 49 No. 50 Avenue Las Vegas. Medellín, Colombia Tel: (57) (4) 2619399 Skype: email@example.com|
|Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana||Courses can be semi-intensive (10 hours/week) or intensive (20 hours/week). Private classes are also available.|
Rates are as follow:
|Gustavo Jaramillo Cardonagustavo.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (574) 3544564 or (574) 4488388 Ext: 12006.
Centro de Lenguas email@example.com Campus de Laureles: Circular 1a No. 70-01.
Formación Continua firstname.lastname@example.org Edificio rectoral, Of. 104 Tel: (574) 3544508
|Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia (EIA)||Five course options are available:|
Include additional benefits:
|Melanie BlachardDirector of Internationalisation email@example.com Tel: (+574) 354 9090 Ext: 241|
|Universidad Antioquia||Courses are personalised based on student needs. Minimum of 4 hours/week|
Rate at $40.000 COP/ hour for a one-student class. Group classes can be arranged with special prices.
|Martín Jiménez Alonso Arango Academic Coordinator International Languages and Cultures Centre School of Languages University of Antioquia E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone Number: (574) 2198332 Ext. 9003 Address: Carrera 52 # 50-13, Second Floor Medellín, Colombia|
|Pontificia Universidad Javeriana||Courses are 4 hours/day for 100 academic hours; private courses and night courses are available; specialised courses include:|
Preparation for DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language)
|Latin American Center
School of Communication and Language
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Transv. 4 # 42-00 Piso 6 °
Edificio José Rafael Arboleda, S.J.
South America email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Tel/Fax: (57 1) 3208320 Ext. 4604 - 4620
|Universidad de los Andes||Various options are available:|
Rates for semester and summer courses are $1'100.000 COP each.
|Camilo Andres Monje Spanish as a Foreign Language Coordinator Tel: (571) 3394949, Ext: 5595 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Universidad EAN||Various options are available:|
Rates are as follow:
|El Nogal, Cra 11 No. 78-47
Av Chile, Calle 71 No. 9-84
Hildebrand Library Afanador Perico N. 79th Street 11-45
Telephone: PBX + (571) 593 6464
Toll-Free: 01 8000 93 1000
Bogotá, Colombia - South Americainformacion@ean.edu.co
|Universidad de la Salle||Courses are Monday-Friday 4 hours/day. For the rates, please visit HERE||University of La Salle
Cra 15 No 49-71
Tel: (57) (1) 3404339/28/00 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
|Universidad de La Sabana||Various options are available:|
For rates, please visit HERE
|Natalia De La Paz Cabrera Logistic Coordinator – Spanish Program Campus del Puente del Común, Km. 7, Autopista Norte de Bogotá. Tel: (+57) (1) 8615555, 8616666 Ext: 41301 Mobile: (+57) 313 4789223 email@example.com|
|Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar||Weekly courses (20 or 25 hours/week), summer courses, and personalized courses are availableFor the rates, please visit HERE||3 Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar Manga Calle del Bouquet Cra 21 25-92. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia Tel: 575 6606041 Ext: 444-433. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|International House Bogota||Intensive Spanish course for 20 hours/week in group of no more than 8 students. Rates are as follow:||Calle 10 No. 4-09, Barrio La Candelaria Bogotá, D.C., Colombia Tel +57 1 336 4747 email@example.com|
|Medellin Language Academy||Courses can be private or group setting. Different options are available:|
For the rates, please visit HERE.
|Federico Del Valle Calle 10 #38-49, Edificio Boulevard de la 10 Oficina 203-204 Parque Lleras, El Poblado Medellín|
|The Blacksheep Hostal||Courses can be private or group setting. Length depends on student needs.|
Rates range from 12,000 COP/hour and up depending on size of the class.
|Transversal 5A # 45-45 Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
+57 4 580 7837
|Learn More than Spanish||Spanish Business courses are available in 4-week curriculum and full curriculum (12 weeks). Activities courses (dance, guitar, yoga, and cooking) can be added.|
For the rates, please visit HERE
|Calle 55 No. 10-64 Bogotá, Colombia Tel: +57 1 622 5952 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nueva Lengua||Various options are available in 3 locations:||Calle 69 No.11A-09, barrio Quinta Camacho, Bogotá Colombia Calle del Pozo No.25 - 95, Barrio Getsemaní (Close to Plaza de La Trinidad). Cartagena, ColombiaTel: 57 1 813 8674 or 57 1 753 2451 email@example.com|
|Relato||Various options are available in 2 locations:||Cra 47 N 101 B -08 Bogotá, Colombia 571 7596757, firstname.lastname@example.org Calle San Antonio N 25-149, Cartagena, Colombia Tel: 576 6685758, email@example.com|
|Centro Catalina||Various options are available:|
For rates, please visit HERE
|San Diego Calle de los 7 Infantes n°9-21
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia Tel: (+57) 310 761 2157 firstname.lastname@example.org
References: http://relocationcolombia.com, http://www.internationalentrepreneurship.com/americas/colombia/