Opportunities for entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 crisis

Date: 27 March, 2020

Amid the crisis caused by Covid-19, numerous opportunities have emerged for entrepreneurs and investors. Healthcare, financial instruments, education, supply chains, entertainment and culture are some of the sectors in need of innovative ideas and developments in the current situation.

As part of a webinar organized by Invest in Bogota that featured Carolina Durán, the secretary of economic development; Isabella Muñoz, from MAS Equity Partners; Catalina Rengifo from IBM; and Salua García from Symplifica, discussion took place regarding some of the existing opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in Bogota, a city where 70% of the economy is powered by small and medium-sized companies.

“We are in the midst of a war where the most important things are the basics, the things we used to take for granted”, Isabella Muñoz states. At present, the main emerging opportunities for entrepreneurs are therefore linked to covering essential products and services, such as healthcare, financial instruments, education, food and the supply chain, entertainment, and culture. 

“There is a chance for startups to take the lead on this, precisely because they are small in size, flexible, and have no large capital investments and no need to change their entire business model and equipment in order to be able to respond. It is an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves and pivot their models rapidly,” says Carolina Durán, the Bogota secretary of economic development.

In the Colombian capital, which boasts a pool of human talent of over 6.2 million people, all the conditions are ripe for entrepreneurship. Bogota leads the country’s active entrepreneurial ecosystem and brings together its largest number of relevant actors which, in addition to entrepreneurs, include investment funds, accelerators and co-working spaces, among others. The city has also consolidated its position as the ideal platform to access a huge market in the region, which makes it possible for businesses to grow.

As Durán suggests, these opportunities must evolve in a digital environment that is not solely based on selling products or services through a website or application, but that genuinely provides for a complete digital transformation in terms of home working, billing and documentation, among other aspects.

Finally, the panelists made some recommendations to the entrepreneurs, chief among them being to preserve cash flow and access the credit lines with preferential interest rates and grace periods currently offered by banks. Furthermore, investors are recommended to look at existing startups and invest in those that have potential and offer people solutions, beyond financial return.

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