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.

Springing up the education ladder in Haiti: From brain drain to brain gain

By Nara Meli

“What is the point of college?” asked the New York Times’ Sunday Magazine recently. In the United States, the question of the value of investing in higher education stems from the steep price of attending college, particularly “for the average American household that doesn’t receive a lot of financial aid.”

The Artisan Business Network Gearing Up for NY NOW

By Nara Meli

August is an exciting time for Haitian foundation the Artisan Business Network (ABN). This is because from the 16th through the 20th, ABN’s production team will head up to New York City to take part in the NY NOW market for home, lifestyle and gift. You may recall that MIF is partnering with the ABNwhich assists Haitian artisans in improving their business skills, production processes and marketing, through a value chain approach

CMF VI food for thought: Carib-Cap III and other ideas about future microfinance development in the Caribbean

By Ryan Tang

Panelists share lessons learned from Carib-Cap

During the second session of the Caribbean Microfinance Forum VI (CMF VI), one of the panelists, Curven Whyte, Microfinance Coordinator of a major Jamaican credit union, cited the growth in the industry brought about by the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity Building projects (Carib-Cap) I and II and called for a Carib-Cap III. The audience applauded and I couldn’t help but smile because at the CMF last year, the donors—MIF included—had said they would continue supporting microfinance in the Caribbean but not through a regional, multi-donor Carib-Cap III project. Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the CMF VI, calls for a Carib-Cap III resounded and it became evident that many microfinance stakeholders thought Carib-Cap I and II had accomplished a lot but that need for additional support remained in the Caribbean.

Bubbling up: Boosting the Haitian sorghum value chain through local sourcing

By Nara Meli

Photo by  Papyrus Haiti

If you were to ask any Haitian whether they’d heard of Malta H, you’d probably get a laugh and a friendly eye roll as answer. This is because Malta H is a hugely popular non-alcoholic carbonated malt drink most Haitians have probably quenched their thirst with since childhood. You can see the national enthusiasm for the drink in this TV ad. It even has a Twitter handle. Malta H is one of the bevy of drinks produced by Heineken-owned BRANA – the Brasserie nationale d’Haïti. 

Local input, strategic partners, lessons learned inform future work in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

When the sun dawned on Haiti on January 11th, 2010, a day after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country, the outlook was bleak. Hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, families, or friends, as well as their homes. While the earthquake has had many deep and lasting repercussions, in the years since then, there have been many promising developments. They become evident during conversations with Haitian entrepreneurs these days.