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.

Building connections between China and the Latin American and Caribbean region

By Yongdong Bao

For nearly five years, I have had the pleasure of serving as a senior consultant at the MIF. I came here after working for China’s central bank and for the Asian Development Bank in order to establish and nurture connections between my country and LAC—especially when it comes to exchanging experiences and information about microfinance and MSME development.

Remittance recipients in the Northern Triangle: New insights from the MIF

By Rebecca Rouse

Analysts often refer to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – together constituting the so-called Northern Triangle - as particularly illustrative examples of the importance of remittances for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). They rightly do so. For one, the three countries receive relatively large amounts of these international financial flows. In 2015 remittances to the Northern Triangle exceeded $14 billion, constituting approximately a fifth of the total migrant transfers received by all LAC countries and corresponding to 17%, 10% and 18% of the gross domestic products of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, respectively.

Making each transfer count – How Bancolombia helps transnational households save and invest

By Lukas Keller

Imagine Juan Pablo and Carolina, a typical Colombian working-class couple and parents of two living in Medellín. After years of saving, the two wish to finally buy a house for their family in a quiet suburb of the city. The property the couple is looking to buy costs around five times the amount they can put together, which is why they approach their bank, Bancolombia, about the terms of a mortgage loan to cover the outstanding amount.

Venture Capital: Driving Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Yuri Soares

Click here for full-size image

Startups and scaleups create the vast majority of jobs in the formal economy, providing, on average, 66% of the jobs worldwide, and the greatest share of jobs in low income countries. Moreover, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is important not just for job creation, but also for economic growth, thanks to its outstanding capacity to increase productivity through innovation. For example, approximately 85% of growth between 1900 and 1950 is attributable to innovation, rather than increased usage of inputs, and the financing of SMEs via risk capital —most notably venture capital, which is also called smart capital because it combines financing with active hands-on support— has been found to be three to four times more effective at generating innovation than other alternatives, such as corporate research or development funding.

Retos para financiar la infraestructura urbana

By Guest

Este blog forma parte de la serie de blogs hacia PPPAméricas 2016, que este año se llevará a cabo en Santiago, Chile del 20 al 22 de junio.  

Por Ellis Juan, Jefe de la División de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano del BID

El mejoramiento de la infraestructura urbana es un catalizador del desarrollo sostenible, estrechamente vinculado al crecimiento económico, al aumento de la productividad, a la reducción de la pobreza y a mayor equidad. Sin embargo, en América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) existe una brecha de infraestructura urbana tal que se requieren alrededor de US$100 mil millones anuales durante los próximos años para cerrarla – excluyendo componentes de adaptación/resiliencia que suponen un aumento en la inversión entre el 10% y 20%