Amanda Perobelli—Reuters

Many leaders aspire to make the planet a better place. David Vélez, a 40-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist from Medellín, Colombia, has done it.

As CEO and co-creator of Nubank, the biggest digital bank platform in the world and one of the most valuable Latin American financial companies, Vélez empowered around 60 million people in Latin America by granting them access to banking and all its benefits—a system that was previously unreachable for many. Today, Nubank has provided more than 5.1 million customers with their first credit cards or bank accounts.

Nubank’s successful entrance to the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 was evidence that Vélez’s pioneering idea to focus on access is transforming the global financial industry. Colombia is betting on supporting digital transformation, innovative ideas, and talent as the key to development. The unicorn company is now leading a new generation of Colombians who are dreaming big. David Vélez challenged the status quo, and today the world recognizes his work.

Duque is the President of Colombia

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at

Simu Liu
Tim Cook
Mary J. Blige
Candace Parker
Volodymyr Zelensky
5 stories