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.

Strengthening local capacity in Haiti: one more thing on the list of “shoulds”

By Nara Meli

In the Huffington Post Mark Schuller, an anthropologist working in Haiti and professor of NGO development, lists a number of policy recommendations for international NGOs and other agencies working in Haiti. His key point, in my view, is addressing the need for greater involvement of the local, beneficiary population. More participation will provide more ownership by those benefiting from the project. It also means the local population will have a voice and a stake in the process, and a greater chance for control over what is happening.

I would like to add one more to the list of “shoulds”. 

Love, rivalry, drama... and how to make a budget? Telenovelas as a source of financial education


Will Vicky be able to make more money now that her husband has left his job? Will Miriam be able to fulfill her dream of owning her own house? What about Vicky’s pregnant teenage sister? How will a new baby affect the household? And who, after all, is the “man” in Cambodia?  These and other questions captivated a full house at the Foromic panel on using non-traditional media techniques for training. Non-traditional it was, with discussions of telenovelas (soap operas) and reality TV shows, HIV-AIDS, financial literacy and savings accounts, child trafficking and women’s and men’s household roles. This panel proved how financial, academic, and health institutions are using soaps for more than daytime dithering. In fact, some of the LAC region’s leading microfinance organizations are proving that combining such seemingly frivolous fare with important messages can be an effective and sustainable vehicle for providing training and achieving behavioral changes. 

El Impacto de las Microfinanzas en América Latina: ¿Qué dice la evidencia?

By Claudia Gutierrez

Varias revisiones de literatura sobre el impacto de las microfinanzas fueron publicadas en los últimos años (aquíaquí y aquí), pero ninguna enfocada únicamente en América Latina. Y vale la pena hacer la distinción, porque las características del sector y de los clientes de microfinanzas en la región son diferentes al resto del mundo. El sector de microfinanzas en nuestra región ha crecido de tal manera en algunos países (Bolivia y Perú) que es una parte muy importante del sistema financiero formal. Los clientes son en general pequeños microempresarios que no tenían acceso a servicios financieros pero que en su mayoría están por encima de la línea de pobreza. ¿Qué efectos tiene entonces las microfinanzas bajo este entorno?

Plantain chips in Barbados: the winners of a Caribbean Microentrepreneurship Award

By Winsome Leslie

The trip to Barbados was Javier Basto’s first time traveling outside of Belize. In his luggage, he had two big boxes filled with bags of plantain chips and churros.

Javier Basto, owner of Basto & Sons Plantain Chips, crossed the Caribbean Sea to Bridgetown to receive the award for Excellence in Microentrepreneurship, one of two prizes for the first Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. Marcus James, founder and owner of Access Financial Services in Jamaica was presented with the award for Excellence in Microfinance. 

By Ryan Tang

ColCapital: Consolidación de la industria de fondos de capital en Colombia

By Lucia Campero

El FOMIN y Bancoldex  apoyaron a 26 gestores de fondos de capital privado para crear la Asociación Colombiana de Fondos de Capital Privado ColCapital [vea cobertura en La Nota EconomicaEl TiempoEl EspectadorLa Prensa y Mercado de Dinero]. Esta asociación tiene como objetivo consolidar y desarrollar la industria de capital emprendedor,  así como ayudar a fomentar la participación de inversionistas locales e internacionales. Como dice Pilar González, la directora del gremio, es además una oportunidad de lograr una mejor adopción de estándares y prácticas en la industria.