Industria Fintech. ¿Instituciones financieras emergentes para pymes?

Industria Fintech. ¿Instituciones financieras emergentes para pymes?

Industria Fintech. ¿Instituciones financieras emergentes para pymes?

Monday, January 25, 2021, by Rubén Ascúa

El mundo emprendedor y de pymes, incluyendo a las instituciones de apoyo y a los propios gobiernos, considera el financiamiento como uno de los tres temas más importantes para la promoción de pymes y en particular de las nuevas empresas. En el caso de las nuevas empresas tecnológicas, la gestión del financiamiento cobra especial relevancia debido a la existencia de barreras específicas para acceder a los recursos, ya que se trata de empresas con un componente importante de activos intangibles y una elevada dosis de incertidumbre producto de su carácter innovativo.

Por otra parte, los distintos desarrollos tecnológicos que han tenido lugar durante la última década, junto con los nuevos modelos de negocio que estos han generado, están modificando la industria de los servicios financieros. Hoy es imposible analizar el sector sin tener en cuenta el impacto de las nuevas tecnologías financieras y de los emprendedores o compañías “Fintech” que las implementan. Son estos los nuevos actores que compiten con las instituciones financieras tradicionales y desafían sus consolidados modelos de negocio.

Las empresas FinTech se dedican a intermediar en el mercado financiero de diversos modos, en las transferencias de dinero (remesas), en los préstamos, en las transacciones de cobros y pagos, en la intermediación en los mercados de capitales (asesoramiento financiero y de inversiones). Es evidente que todavía se discute si la trasformación de la industria de servicios financieros tendrá lugar por la vía de la competencia o más bien de la colaboración entre unas y otras. A su vez, se ha ido generando una creciente expectativa sobre su contribución a la reducción de la brecha de financiamiento que afecta en particular al sector de las pymes y jóvenes empresas.

Por un lado, el surgimiento de nuevas plataformas e intermediarios financieros en línea, con menores costos de transacción y nuevas técnicas y fuentes de información para evaluar el riesgo crediticio, podría contribuir a expandir el acceso a financiamiento de las PyME. Por otro lado, la existencia de soluciones para pagos y herramientas digitales para lograr un mejor desempeño financiero empresarial, no solo facilitaría la digitalización y formalización de estos negocios, sino que además el historial de sus transacciones podría facilitar la evaluación del riesgo de crédito involucrado, creando nuevas opciones para resolver asimetrías de información, reduciendo el riesgo moral y la selección adversa que sufren las empresas pymes.

 Pese a la expansión de las FinTechs en la última década, sus volúmenes de financiación son pequeños en proporción al tamaño de la economía y las financiaciones a través de entidades “convencionales”. Se destacan las financiaciones FinTechs en China, EEUU y Reino Unido. En América Latina la evolución del sector Fintech ha sido vertiginoso, concentrándose en el segmento de las finanzas familiares.

¿Es esperable que las Fintechs eficienticen el acceso al financiamiento de las pymes y jóvenes empresas en América Latina?  Con este artículo iniciamos una serie que apunta a analizar la revolución FinTech e intentar responder al interrogante planteado.

 

Autor

Dr. Rubén Ascúa

Dr. Rubén Ascúa

Rector UnRaf

Profesor en las Universidades Tecnológica Nacional, de General Sarmiento y del Litoral en Argentina; y en la de Ciencias Aplicadas de Kaiserslautern, en Alemania. Presidente de la Asociación Civil Red Pymes MERCOSUR. President of  International Council for Small Business (ICSB 2014-2015). Director de A&M Ciencias Económicas.

The secret letters of history’s first-known businesswomen

The secret letters of history’s first-known businesswomen

New research gives us insights into history’s first well-documented businesswomen, who made their mark earlier than you may think.

Friday, January 15, 2021, by BBC

New research gives us insights into history’s first well-documented businesswomen, who made their mark earlier than you may think.

Friday, January 15, 2021, by BBC

The letters, though tiny, contained a wealth of insight into this ancient world of commerce (Credit: Cecile Michel, Archaeological Mission of Kültepe)

The letters, though tiny, contained a wealth of insight into this ancient world of commerce (Credit: Cecile Michel, Archaeological Mission of Kültepe)

Around 1870BC, in the city of Assur in northern Iraq, a woman called Ahaha uncovered a case of financial fraud. 

Ahaha had invested in long-distance trade between Assur and the city of Kanesh in Turkey. She and other investors had pooled silver to finance a donkey caravan delivering tin and textiles to Kanesh, where the goods would be exchanged for more silver, generating a tidy profit. But Ahaha’s share of the profits seemed to have gone missing – possibly embezzled by one of her own brothers, Buzazu. So, she grabbed a reed stylus and clay tablet and scribbled a letter to another brother, Assur-mutappil, pleading for help: 

“I have nothing else apart from these funds,” she wrote in cuneiform script. “Take care to act so that I will not be ruined!” She instructed Assur-mutappil to recover her silver and update her quickly. “Let a detailed letter from you come to me by the very next caravan, saying if they do pay the silver,” she wrote in another tablet. “Now is the time to do me a favour and to save me from financial stress!” 

Ahaha’s letters are among 23,000 clay tablets excavated over the past decades from the ruins of merchants’ homes in Kanesh. They belonged to Assyrian expats who had settled in Kanesh and kept up a lively correspondence with their families back in Assur, which lay six weeks away by donkey caravan. A new book gives unprecedented insight into a remarkable group within this community: women who seized new opportunities offered by social and economic change, and took on roles more typically filled by men at the time. They became the first-known businesswomen, female bankers and female investors in the history of humanity. 

‘Strong and independent’ 

The bulk of the letters, contracts and court rulings found in Kanesh date from around 1900-1850 BC, a period when the Assyrians’ trading network was flourishing, bringing prosperity to the region and giving rise to many innovations. The Assyrians invented certain forms of investment and were also among the first men and women to write their own letters, rather than dictating them to professional scribes. It’s thanks to these letters that we can hear a chorus of vibrant female voices telling us that even in the distant past, commerce and innovation were not the exclusive domains of men.

The ancient city of Kanesh, also known as Kültepe mound, in what is now Turkey (Credit: Archaeological Mission of Kültepe Archives)

                        The ancient city of Kanesh, also known as Kültepe mound, in what is now Turkey (Credit: Archaeological Mission of Kültepe Archives)

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, by World Bank Group

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, by World Bank Group

While women are beginning to get ahead of men in selective countries in a few areas, such as college admission, in both high-paying and leadership jobs, women continue to lag significantly behind.

Studies of female business leaders and economic performance are rarely conducted with worldwide observational data, and with considerations on the underlying cultural, institutional, and business environment. This paper uses worldwide, firm-level data from more than 100 countries to study how female-headed firms differ from male-headed firms in productivity level and growth, and whether the female leader performance disparity hinges on the underlying environment. Female-headed firms account for about 11 percent of firms and are more prevalent in countries with better rule of law, gender equality, and stronger individualistic culture. On average, female-headed firms have 9 to 16 percent lower productivity and 1.6 percentage points lower labor productivity growth, compared with male-headed firms. The disadvantage is mainly in manufacturing firms, largely nonexistent in service firms, and present in relatively small firms. Although the female leader performance disadvantage is surprisingly not related to gender equality, it is smaller where there is less emphasis on personal networks (better rule of law, lower trade credit linkages, lower usage of bank credit, and more equalizing internet), less competition, and the culture is more collective. The study does not find that the female leader disadvantage is amplified in corrupt environments. Africa differs significantly in that it features lower female disadvantage, stronger female advantage in services relative to manufacturing, and stronger sensitivity of female business leaders to electricity provision and bank credit access. (Read more…)

Rethinking the Entrepreneurial University and all that Jazz: The Campus Radio, Edutainment, and Youth Development

Rethinking the Entrepreneurial University and all that Jazz: The Campus Radio, Edutainment, and Youth Development

Rethinking the Entrepreneurial University and all that Jazz: The Campus Radio, Edutainment, and Youth Development 

Monday, January 11, 2021 Dr. Nnamdi O. Madichie

Rethinking the Entrepreneurial University and all that Jazz: The Campus Radio, Edutainment, and Youth Development 

Monday, January 11, 2021

In putting this opinion piece together, I would like to start with an important question. 

How can universities demonstrate entrepreneurialism beyond the usual suspects? 

What are these usual suspects? Commercialisation of research? Navigating uncharted waters? And relevant to the current pandemic climate – is all about developing a vaccine and providing scientific advice? 

No disrespect to the good job of global players providing intelligence on vaccines and communicating numbers on the “R” rates – John Hopkins University, Imperial College, and Oxford University, to name just a few. While universities play a big role in saving lives, there is also the need for preserving livelihoods. 

As a social scientist, my interest in this article takes a slightly different perspective that hinges upon the humane entrepreneurship narrative and the 4Es empathy, equity, enablement and empowerment that have been at the core of the ICSB – especially concerns over enabling and empowering the youth with a view to serving the full social purpose of universities. (Read more…).

USAID Scholars Activity Offers Scholarships to 140 Public School Students this Year to Study at AUC, Egyptian Universities

USAID Scholars Activity Offers Scholarships to 140 Public School Students this Year to Study at AUC, Egyptian Universities

USAID Scholars Activity Offers Scholarships to 140 Public School Students this Year to Study at AUC, Egyptian Universities

January, Jan 5, 2021, by AUC Egypt

AUC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education to promote the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Scholars Activity program in schools.

The USAID Scholars Activity, implemented and managed by AUC, is offering scholarships to 140 Egyptian public school students in the 2020-2021 academic year to study at AUC and Egyptian public and private universities. AUC’s partner universities in the program are Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, Cairo University, Assiut University, Mansoura University and Zewail City of Science and Technology.

“We are happy with the opportunities that the USAID Scholars Activity program provides to thanawiya amma high school students and proud of the 140 students who received the scholarships this academic year,” said Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki. “The ministry spares no effort to develop the skills of our students by providing them with all the available excellent educational opportunities.”

The $36 million USAID Scholars Activity targets 700 students from Egypt’s 27 governorates over 10 years. The students are identified by high academic excellence, leadership potential and financial need. For the first cohort, the program’s majors are agriculture, energy, water, computer science, environmental engineering, journalism, data science, business and economics.

“We look forward to our collaboration with the Ministry of Education,” said AUC Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman. “Such collaboration will ensure that talented students in public schools will have an opportunity to apply to the USAID Scholars Activity program and get a chance to excel in their chosen fields of study.”

The USAID Scholars Activity will cover five consecutive cohorts, and the selection process commits to gender balance and overall accessibility. This year, 65 female and 75 male students, including 13 students with disabilities, joined the cohort to advance diversity and higher education inclusion.

AUC has welcomed 25 students this year. Assiut, Mansoura and Ain Shams universities have each welcomed 23 students, while 22 students have joined Alexandria University, 17 have joined Cairo University and seven have joined Zewail City of Science and Technology. This year, 24% of students chose an engineering major as their top major of choice, followed by agriculture.

This collaboration between USAID and AUC contributes to Egypt’s 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy by instilling the pillars of knowledge, innovation and scientific research, economic development and environmental responsibility in the activity’s core infrastructure.