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Cisco and Colombian Government Announce Entrepreneur Institute in Country’s Caribbean Region


Institute Is Part of Agreement Between Cisco and Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to Promote ICT Skills Enhancement for SMBs

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia - Cisco today announced the establishment of the Cisco® Entrepreneur Institute in the Caribbean region of Colombia to help entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) improve their use of information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance business acumen. The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Antioquia is supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia and falls within the framework of the agreement announced in November 2008. The agreement seeks to further the development of SMBs through the use of information technology and knowledge sharing.

Cámara de Comercio de Barranquilla (the Chamber of Commerce of Barranquilla), an organizational member of Red Nacional de Emprendimiento (National Network of Entrepreneurship) of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, will be the second training center of Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Colombia. It will bring courses from the institute to six centers in the towns of Barranquilla, Valledupar and Cartagena in Colombia. During the first 12 months of operation, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is expected to train more than 500 entrepreneurs in this region.

“ICT is a key element for entrepreneurial productivity. Initiatives like the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, a public-private partnership, show the country’s commitment and continued effort to be more competitive,” said Luis Guillermo Plata, the Colombian minister of industry, commerce and tourism. “Entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium-sized businesses now have a training tool available that provides true value to their professional career as business professionals, including how to start and grow a business.”

Cisco Entrepreneur Institute courses, which teach successful entrepreneurial practices, will be delivered through a combination of e-learning, in-person workshop attendance and audiovisual materials. Participants will have access to Web 2.0 technologies and advanced open-source tools such as Moodle. They will also use collaboration technologies such as Cisco WebExTM for an even richer learning experience.

Simbad Ceballos, the general manager of Cisco Colombia, said: “In Colombia the entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing, and we need to be sure we have the ability to help achieve its maximum potential by encouraging diversification and innovation. Cisco is very proud to sponsor this initiative to help build the entrepreneurial capacity of the country. Entrepreneurs are the core of economic growth, and we look forward to seeing Colombia benefit from this new program.”

The Entrepreneur Institute also works in Colombia with the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA, the National Service of Learning), which is delivering institute training courses to 115 training centers in the country. The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute expects to train about 5,000 entrepreneurs nationwide during 2009 though SENA training centers.

For more information on the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute please visit:
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