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Financial inclusion in Paraguay: New mobile money regulation

Published on 7/22/2014 3:08:00 PM

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El FOMIN está apoyando los servicios financieros móviles inclusivo mediante los operadores Tigo y Personal. En el contexto de ambos proyectos compartimos aquí el blog de Mireya Almazan de nuestro socio GSMA sobre los avances en la regulación dinero móvil en Paraguay. 

The opportunity to increase financial access in Paraguay is massive. Paraguay has one of the lowest rates of banking penetration in Latin America: only 22% of adults in Paraguay have an account at a formal financial institution, on par with banking penetration rates in Haiti and Guatemala. Fortunately, policymakers and regulators in Paraguay are committed to the dual goals of financial stability and inclusion, and are taking important steps to realize the opportunity.

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In December 2010, I first made contact with Dr. David Gaus, who had recently been named “Regional Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Latin America” by the Schwab Foundation. As founder of the sister NGOs Andean Health & Development (AHD) in the USA and SALUDESA in Ecuador, Dr. Gaus received this award for his pioneering work in bringing quality health care to rural and vulnerable populations and training family doctors through a hospital in the remote town of Pedro Vicente Maldonado. Despite already having one sustainable rural hospital, he planned to construct a second hospital to expand health services to other underserved areas of the country, and we at the MIF were in a position to provide additional funding to complement the donations that he had secured. 

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La  semana pasada, en uno de los capítulos de  nuestro seminario virtual sobre el valor de los microseguros para los clientes, Barbara Magnoni presentó los resultados de tres años de estudios realizados por el Proyecto MILK.

Al final del seminario, un participante hizo la siguiente pregunta: ¿Cómo se hace para acercarse al cliente de manera costo-efectiva? La respuesta fue que la percepción del valor de los clientes es un precursor esencial de las ventas efectivas.

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En la última década, el mercado microfinanciero ha visto un enorme crecimiento a nivel regional llegando en América Latina a más de1.000 instituciones con una cartera de más de US$ 40 mil millones. Sin embargo, como indica el Microscopio Global, el entorno para las microfinanzas no es igual de favorable en los diferentes países.

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Nivelando la cancha: los pueblos indígenas y el desarrollo

Published on 7/9/2014 3:32:00 PM

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Cada cuatro años, el Mundial nos convoca para ser espectadores del enfrentamiento de los titanes futbolísticos del mundo.  Países de poblaciones pequeñas se enfrentan con naciones de hasta casi 100 veces su tamaño (Uruguay – USA), demostrando que en la cancha lo importante  no es el tamaño, el peso político o la riqueza de un país, sino el talento de los jugadores,  la existencia de reglas de juego a las que deben cumplir todos por igual bajo las mismas condiciones dentro de una cancha.

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Versión en Español

The MIF was honored to partner with the IDB’s Japan Special Fund Poverty Reduction Program (JPO) on its third annual call for proposals. We recently launched a new website, NEXSO, which is a place for all who work in the field of international development—NGOs, government agencies, businesses, funders, investors and so on—to share and discover innovative development solutions. NEXSO served as the “collection point” for grant proposals during the JPO’s recently concluded application period. More than 500 civil society organizations submitted the requested information about themselves and their proposals using the NEXSO platform, and now the JPO staff and others involved in the process are evaluating the applications and selecting which will receive grants from the fund. This was one of the first “challenges”—competitive processes that provide exclusive opportunities to selected applicants—hosted by NEXSO. 

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Haitian mango farmers: making improvements last

Published on 7/3/2014 4:12:00 PM

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Close to 200,000 farmers produce mangoes in Haiti and FAO estimates that it is among the world’s 20 largest mango producers, with 200,000 – 400,000 metric tons a year. But Haiti’s mango exports have not increased in the last two decades due to poor access to finance, lack of organization of farmers and low productivity. How can the sector’s potential for growth be improved sustainably?

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Hace un par de meses, les compartimos un resumen sobre los hallazgos del estudio sobre DEL en Guatemala, realizado con el apoyo del consorcio de las firmas consultoras Mesopartner y SISTME en el marco de un análisis temático sobre Desarrollo Económico Local. En esta oportunidad les compartimos los resultados más destacados del  informe país correspondiente a Argentina, el cual incluye el análisis de las redes institucionales, estudios de caso de proyectos en el tema, y la historia sobre el tema en el país.

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Over the last decade, the microfinance industry in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown dramatically. One of the important building blocks of this development has been the industry’s push for transparency, as provided by ratings. Ratings have been important to facilitating funding, particularly from international investors; for providing benchmarks for use by microfinance institutions (MFIs); and  for providing information to regulators and donors. This is why the MIF has been working with microfinance ratings since the late 1990s, and it has been a recurrent issue at our yearly industry event, Foromic. he MIF’s experience in microfinance ratings has recently been assessed by an independent consultant, here are some of the conclusions.

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Superando sus objetivos, concluyó en abril 2014 el Proyecto “Apoyo a la Competitividad de la Región Suroccidental de Guatemala”. Este proyecto que benefició directamente a casi 1.500 personas y a otras 3.600 por medio de acciones de transferencia de conocimiento, se desarrolló en la Región VI de Guatemala (departamentos de Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Sololá, Suchitepéquez y Totonicapán). Para su desarrollo contó con el liderazgo de la Red Nacional de Grupos Gestores-RNGG y el apoyo técnico y financiero del Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones-FOMIN y el Fondo Fiduciario Italiano para la Competitividad Regional.

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To date, many of the important discussions about climate change have focused on national level challenges - strengthening national government departments, building climate smart infrastructure, setting national GHG emissions targets - which are critical given the magnitude of the climate challenge. But here at the MIF we view climate change from the lens of our clients: small firms and farms, and poor and low income families. Our challenge is to translate global and national conversations to the individual communities by providing training and finance for clean and efficient energy, making communities more resilient and identifying new business opportunities. 

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The Index of Systemic Conditions for Dynamic entrepreneurship, developed by PRODEM with the support of the MIF and led by Hugo Kantis, comes at a very timely moment, when conditions for increasing dynamic entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean have greatly improved. Today, we have a region that’s stronger in its economies and Venture Capital ecosystems. Poverty has decreased, the middle class has expanded. The region was resilient to the otherwise global great recession. This performance finally got the attention of overseas investors who began to flock to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and, to a lesser extent, other countries. Governments are now aware of the need to move away from factor or efficiency driven economies to become innovation economies. The region’s growing young population has an appetite for innovation.

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Remittances and Savings: Where’s the On-Ramp?

Published on 6/19/2014 3:47:00 PM

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This blog post was originally posted In the ProSavings blog. Click here to read the Spanish version.

We talk about remittances as being the perfect on-ramp for savings, in part because recipients can choose to move part of their electronic funds to a savings account before the remittance becomes cash, creating opportunities to avoid impulse spending and automate behaviors (see my blog post on defaults from last spring).  But what happens to the equation when the remittance sender is only transacting in cash?

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Facilitators Lisa Harding of the Caribbean Development Bank and Yvonne Chin Irving, a media consultant, counting ballots to determine the winning youth track project proposal.

By Wayne Beecher and Trang Ho

Over 132 participants and 32 presenters were in for a special treat at the Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum (#CaribForumV) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, last June 2-5, 2014. 

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Marta Cruz, gestora de la aceleradora NXTPLabs en la que el FOMIN invirtió USD5 millones en 2014.

Invitada por Hugo Kantis del  Programa de Desarrollo Emprendedor PRODEM, y el FOMIN, tuve el gran privilegio de ser testigo del impacto positivo que el 4ST de PRODEM tuvo en los aspirantes y los actores ya establecidos del ecosistema emprendedor en Centroamérica.

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El Silicon Valley Latinoamericano

Published on 6/6/2014 1:37:00 PM

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Hugo Kantis y Susana García-Robles lanzan el índice de Condiciones Sistémicas para el Emprendimiento Dinámico- PRODEM en Santo Domingo, una herramienta que ayuda a identificar las principales fortalezas y debilidades de los países en materia de emprendimiento.


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La penetración de los microseguros agrícolas en América Latina y el Caribe es la más baja de todos los tipos de microseguros, totalizando apenas 300.000 pólizas. Seguros catastróficos o por índice- que disparan cuando ocurre el riesgo en vez de la pérdida-, sólo se reportaron en cuatro países: Bolivia, República Dominicana, Ecuador y Haití con una cobertura de menos de 500.000, según el “Panorama de los microseguros en América Latina y el Caribe”. Esto se debe en gran parte a la complejidad inherente en este tipo de microseguro. Además cabe señalar que al excluir del panorama los productos subsidiados, no están incluidos en estos números casos de Perú, México y Brasil como por ejemplo la cobertura Seguro da Agricultura Familiar en Brasil para pequeñas agricultores que accedan a créditos  de PRONAF, de la cual el gobierno paga 75 por ciento de la prima.

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Por Ignacio Fernández y Xoan Fernández. 

Gran parte de los recicladores en nuestra región todavía vive con menos de 1,25$US al día. Al mismo tiempo, gracias a ellos, se recolecta entre el 50% y el 90% de los materiales reciclables utilizados en la industria. Sin embargo, a pesar de cumplir con esta función tan clave en nuestras sociedades, recolectando residuos reciclables de manera informal, procedentes en su gran mayoría de botaderos, rellenos sanitarios y vías públicas, estos recicladores siguen marginalizados en nuestra sociedad. 

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On the Road to Rural Finance, Being Practical Matters

Published on 5/14/2014 10:41:00 AM

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Last week I spent a day on the road with Mateo, a mobile field officer from the Evangel Credit Union in Belize. He collects deposits and loan payments, as well as other cash transactions, for up to 200 credit union members per day while driving a truck through Belize´s countryside. His clients, most of them women with small scale family farms and businesses, see the truck stopping on the road and run out from their houses with crumpled bills in their hands, happy to make a deposit in a matter of seconds, instead of losing two to four hours in travel just to go to a credit union branch in Belize City.

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On April 10 and 11, 2014, the Institut National du Café Haïtien – INCAH, hosted a workshop entitled “Atelier national de relance de la filière du café haïtien” (National strategy workshop to revamp the Haitian coffee value chain). This was done in the framework of the project “Upgrading the Coffee Value Chain in Haiti,” which was executed by the NGO Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF) and funded by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

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