History of MIF

Established in 1993, as part of the Inter-American Development Bank  (IDB) Group, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) was created to develop effective approaches to increase private investment and advance private sector development, improve the business environment and support micro and small enterprises in order to support economic growth and poverty reduction in the region.

As the largest provider of technical assistance for private sector development in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, the MIF has played a distinct role within the IDB Group, in pursuit of innovative ways to build economic opportunity and decrease poverty.

Over the course of its 17-year history, the MIF has approved over 1,700 projects, committed over US$1.5 billion and mobilized a total of over US$2.7 billion in the LAC region, reaching over 4 million beneficiaries.

The MIF has successfully tested, experimented and searched for innovative solutions and approaches, and selectively expanded and brought to scale a broad range of topics. It has been an effective agent of change, achieving large-scale, sustainable change in the thinking or behavior of individuals, policy-makers, organizations or businesses.

In recognition of the results achieved and the continued need for the kind of assistance provided by the MIF, the Donor countries decided in 2005 to replenish the MIF´s resources, extend its term and enhance its focus by developing new defining agreements (Agreement Establishing MIF II, signed in Okinawa, Japan on the 9th day of April, 2005). A central objective in this process was to emphasize a focus on results and make explicit the MIF’s particular development role, while retaining the innovation and flexibility that have been key success factors. The MIF´s resource replenishment and MIF II came into effect in March 2007 with the purpose of supporting equitable economic growth and poverty reduction through private sector development.

In developing MIF II, Donors sought to embody the lessons of experience and position the MIF to meet current and evolving needs of the Region, reinforcing proven success factors. Donors emphasized the importance of maximizing the MIF’s development impact, by:

  • focusing resources on areas where there is both a critical need for assistance, and where MIF interventions can make a measurable difference;
  • testing and introducing new ideas and piloting concepts to stimulate and build support for larger scale changes; and
  • continuously improving MIF’s development effectiveness through an integrated focus on results, which calls for the clear identification of what is to be accomplished, effective measurement of the results attained, and widely sharing the knowledge gained from its experience.

Some of the areas in which the MIF has achieved this kind of systemic impact since the establishment of MIF II include: Remittances, Microfinance, Venture Capital, Small Business Networks and Local Competitiveness and Sustainable Tourism. Early results in areas such as Sustainable Agriculture, Public Private Partnerships, and Youth Training are also showing significant promise.

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