Entrepreneur: Koen de Beer
HQ: San Salvador, El Salvador
Industry: Financial Service
Number of Employees: 1-10
GIIRS Rating: coming soon
Prior to 2009, Koen de Beer of El Salvador had focused much of his career on the development and implementation of innovative financial and commercial services for small businesses, with a focus on sustainability. Then, when the global financial crisis of 2008 hit, Koen found a new opportunity to help his fellow El Salvadorians.
Prior to 2008, businesses throughout El Salvador had invested heavily in expanding their capacity. The global economy was booming during much of the first decade of the 21st Century, then, financial times changed. By the late 2000s, much of the world was gripped in a global financial crisis triggered by a complex interplay of valuation and liquidity problems in the United States. As a result, growth around the world slowed dramatically and consumer demand dwindled. In El Salvador, many businesses were left with unnecessary capacity that made them less adaptable to changing conditions.
In response to the crisis, Koen began PuntoTransacciones, a business network promoting transactions between member businesses and consumers. Through a technological platform, members are able to optimize production capacity, access low-cost financing, and exchange goods and services that helped many businesses stay afloat during grim economic times.
“We make small business more sustainable in El Salvador,” Koen explains. “We currently work with 300 small businesses.” In the wake of the economic crisis, PuntoTransacciones has helped to dull rising unemployment numbers in the Central American country by helping businesses convert their increased capacity into profit.
“We want to expand,” Koen states simply. “Next, we want to reach 500 businesses. We want to help more customers. We are helping to change the way business people do business in El Salvador. We are helping to create more efficiency in the small business community.”