Sandra Rubio, the Entrepreneur Who Made Banking Available to Everyone

The creator of IMIX likes to run, meditate, weave mandalas, read and listen to podcasts. She believes in feminine power and recommends that those of her gender learn to know, value, take care of and trust themselves.

The Woman Post | María Consuelo Caicedo Toro

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"The world is needing all of us to recover!" With that forceful and generous phrase, Sandra Rubio begins her interview with The Woman Post. And referring to the pandemic and its economic consequences in her country, Colombia, she compares the situation with a wheel that had been rotating and suddenly stopped: “Today more than ever money must be given movement again so that it reaches everyone.”

She is a particular woman; it is not possible to compare her with anyone. You only have to hear her say two or three sentences together to recognize in her that Colombian authenticity that comes out through her pores and is tattooed in stories that she weaves one after another without the thread breaking: “I was born in Cali in 1974 and when I graduated from school I lived with my family a very hard time when drug trafficking brought so much suffering to the country.”

Bogotá was her next stop. The loneliness of the struggle of a woman who studied economics at night at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and worked during the day made her strong to face her life with a son in her arms, at age 21. But her dream of being a businesswoman prompted her to carry out the first project of cultural events despite her adversities: “Sometimes I didn't have a bus ticket and often there were only lentils and rice to eat. My company lasted two years and was successful but the cash flow did not give me a living.”

Technology Got Her

The darkness was lightening and Sandra's destiny was dyed in light colors. She initiated her encounter with technology at the Heinsohn company, a leader in Colombia and Latin America: "I met my mentor there, a wonderful and generous woman, Luz Marina Aragón."

Senior positions in well-known companies began to flow: “After several years, and with the help of my mentor, I returned to Heinsohn as vice president of business and fell in love with the software. In 5 years we made alliances, agreements, and good business.”

Mom of Four but Always a Businesswoman

Sandra Rubio is the mother of four boys, Nicolás, Emilio, Lorenzo, and Lucas: “It was not possible for me to alternate motherhood with work” but any day, during her maternity leave, she wrote in a notebook the question that would guide her new challenges, "Who do I have to be?"

Being a mother changed her, and she did not want to take risks, she understood that she was prey to the so-called mommy brain. Her husband, Mauricio, wanted to build technology and they came together to make a great financial services project a reality, a platform of their own, which they named IMIX where ideas from his brother Hernando, also a great entrepreneur, converged: “It was not easy, we needed money, but at the end of the day we broke paradigms.”

Also read: ALEJANDRA TORRES: SPIRIT OF A SHARK AND HEART OF A WOMAN

One of Each

For 10 years, Sandra Rubio has contributed to Colombia through IMIX, a fintech as service whose protagonists are small merchants who benefit from a banking network that reaches the most remote corners of Colombia: “We turn shopkeepers into bankers, we reached the last mile.”

Through IMIX -a name that comes from the Mayan culture, from the beginning of the cycle of time- the large banks approach ordinary people, many in informal working conditions. Its services include digital correspondence through which it is possible to make deposits, withdrawals, and payments in a neighborhood store, acquire credits, and micro-insurance at points of sale.

"It is an inclusive model of the corporate economy that reaches many Colombian communities and micro-entrepreneurs and that has transcended borders to reach other Latin countries such as Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru and, soon, to Guatemala. We have about 130 thousand agents and we reach 3 million people."

Soon IMIX will also benefit small agricultural producers who need resources to buy seeds and inputs for their crops.

Women Founders

Sandra Rubio always lived in a masculine world where women are scarce but she was the motivator of feminine meetings to make talents visible, a support network called Women Founders: “We are few in the world of digital entrepreneurs but activism turned this into a mission close to the heart. I collect relationships with extraordinary women, I want to infect them all because each one of us has to be the best version of ourselves. We must support each other to listen to each other, do business, open doors, share.”

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