Bogota, Colombia, 4 October 2023 — Colombia’s public procurement market is around $150 billion annually, making it a unique opportunity to boost business growth, especially for small companies. Almost half of the SMEs obtaining government contracts have experienced significant business growth, far exceeding the initial contract amount.
Developed by the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), CREDERE is the first solution in the region that helps small businesses automatically gain access to financial products to be more competitive and allow them to deliver on public contracts. CREDERE operates directly with open data on public contracting to unlock new opportunities for small companies in public procurement.
CREDERE’s main objective is to connect small businesses with financial institutions, communicating with them via email when awarded a contract. Thanks to the platform, the credit application process is streamlined since part of the necessary information is automatically prefilled from open data. Businesses also can upload additional documents, and the application is sent directly to the financial institution for review. In this way, CREDERE contributes to mitigating the risk that small companies face when applying for loans, providing banks with more information about them and their public contracts.
Public procurement in Colombia faces a crucial moment. The value awarded to SMEs in 2022 was 16 billion Colombian pesos (around 28%). This value increased by 30% between 2021 and 2022, years in which more than 58,000 contracts were assigned to SMEs, according to data from the electronic public procurement system (SECOP 2) analyzed by OCP.
“The public procurement market in Colombia offers a unique opportunity to promote business growth and achieve greater economic development. However, these opportunities tend to be closed to most small companies, preventing them from being able to compete on equal terms.”
“Small businesses led by women, in particular, have difficulty accessing financial assistance that allows them to compete for and deliver on government contracts confidently,” says Oscar Hernández, Head of Latin America at the Open Contracting Partnership.
At the core, CREDERE proposes a firm commitment to the economic empowerment of Colombia’s small businesses and women entrepreneurs. The platform aims to close the gap in access to public credit and promote economic growth in the country.
The project was developed with financing from the Strive Innovation Fund of the Mastercard Inclusive Growth Center, an initiative to help more than five million micro and small businesses worldwide access the tools and resources they need to digitalize.
About Open Contracting Partnership
The Open Contracting Partnership is a silo-busting collaboration across governments, businesses, civil society, and technologists to open up and transform government contracting worldwide. We bring open data and open government together to make public contracting fair and effective. Spun out of the World Bank in 2015, we are now an independent not-for-profit working in over 50 countries around the world. We help make reforms stick and innovations jump scale, and foster a culture of openness about the policies, teams, tools, data, and results needed to deliver impact.