the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Avocado and quinoa in the Andes: small farmers exporting and improving resilience to climate change

By Dieter Wittkowski

Did you ever wonder where your avocado and quinoa come from? Quite possibly from small-holder farmers in the Peruvian Andes. Although these delicious foods eventually make it to your store’s shelves in the US, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere in the Americas, producing, harvesting and exporting them is getting more complicated all the time due to the effects of climate change.

Early Lessons Learned in SIINC Pay-for-Success Projects

By Dieter Wittkowski

An innovative financing mechanism, known as Social Impact Incentives or SIINC, has begun to take form and test its first experiences in Latin America, through the collaboration between the MIF, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German firm Roots of Impact.  SIINCs are financial incentives paid to emerging, high-impact social enterprises for reaching selected results and impact goals that are negotiated between the social enterprise and the outcome payer (in this case, MIF). The payments allow the company to improve revenues and profitability  and thus attractiveness to other impact investors  in exchange for achieving social impact, measured and verified by an independent evaluator.

Early MIF Support Leads to IDB Investment

By Dieter Wittkowski

MIF congratulates the IDB on the recently approved US$5 million loan to ABACO Credit Union in Peru that will help expand credit available for rural productive chains.

High-quality health services for rural Ecuador: Training family doctors

By Dieter Wittkowski

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. 

Alianzas creativas promueven el crédito rural en la región andina

By Dieter Wittkowski

En buena parte, los altos niveles de competitividad y el crecimiento significativo de las microfinanzas en la región andina se deben tanto al marco regulatorio favorable como a la creatividad de los actores de la industria.  Las autoridades de supervisión del sector financiero de la región han reconocido la importancia de las microfinanzas en la promoción de la inclusión financiera, y paulatinamente han venido creando un entorno que permita florecer la creatividad de los distintos actores para llegar con servicios financieros a poblaciones previamente sub-atendidas en zonas rurales.

Tres casos específicos de estas alianzas creativas en Bolivia y Perú han mostrado resultados alentadores que serán analizados en el panel “Innovaciones Prometedoras para las Finanzas Rurales y Agrícolas” en el FOROMIC 2012 en Barbados.