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.

Are Japanese corporations lagging behind in inclusive business?

By Masato Okumura

“Why are Japanese corporations behind in inclusive business? Honestly, I am not sure if the question is valid in the first place.”

This was a comment made by a panelist during a February workshop about inclusive business, held in Tokyo and co-organized by the MIF and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It was the first joint MIF-JICA event, and the venue was filled with 50 people from both the private and public sectors, reflecting a high level of interest by Japanese corporations in inclusive business in Latin America and the Caribbean. To our great surprise, during the workshop, many questions were raised by the participants. As you may know, this rarely happens in Japan, where many people still live with a “silence is golden” mindset. This active interaction was another indication of high and deep levels of interest from the participants. 

Living for the sea: Restoring coral reefs on the Dominican coast

By Guest

By Sheilly Núñez. 

The turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the Caribbean attract tourists the world over. And for good reason. The region is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world. Beneath the surface of all that natural beauty, however, is a rich and hugely varied ecosystem that a new generation is working to keep vibrant and intact. For the Dominican Republic, the sea is one of its main attractions. The reefs also represent an important source of income for coastal communities. Fausto Guerrero, a 29-year-old resident of Punta Cana who used to rely solely on fishing for his livelihood, is now working to preserve the coral reefs that are so crucial to sustaining marine life and biodiversity in Dominican waters.

Cash is cheaper

By Fermín Vivanco

Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University predicts that cash will disappear in a matter of 10 to 20 years. A few weeks ago, I had my doubts. While visiting a small city in an Andean country, I found myself in a typical situation – short on cash while waiting for the check at a restaurant-, after a lunch with three colleagues. Several attempts at withdrawing cash from three different ATMs had failed; “incompatible network,” the message read.

Desde el Reino Unido a América Latina: Lecciones del primer bono de impacto social

By Zachary Levey

Cuando uno piensa en los bonos de impacto social, siempre hay que pensar en el primer caso. En el 2010, la consultoría Social Finance UK lanzó el primer bono de impacto social para ofrecerle a los prisioneros de la cárcel en Peterborough apoyo individual y global con el fin de reducir la tasa de reincidencia. Para alcanzar este objetivo, Social Finance UK cuenta con la asistencia de 17 fundaciones e inversiones de £5 millones. Los asuntos de seguridad pública son una prioridad para gobiernos, empresas, y la sociedad civil a lo largo de América Latina y el Caribe. Para entender mejor cómo podemos llevar las lecciones del caso de Peterborough a nuestra región, lea esta entrevista  con Marta García, parte integral del equipo de Social Finance UK.

I'm out of here: Monday remittances in Mexico

By Maria Luisa Hayem

Millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean are affected in some way by migration. The women on whom I will focus in this blog face many challenges from the moment they decide to migrate. First, they say goodbye to their families, not knowing when they will see each other again.  Then they must adapt to the country that receives them and find one or more jobs that will allow them to earn enough money so they can send some home to their country of origin, which is the reason many of them originally chose to leave.