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.

NXTP Labs: Supporting Tech Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Susana Garcia-Robles

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Founded in 2011, NXTP Labs is an early-stage investment fund based out of Buenos Aires, featuring a regional accelerator program for LAC tech entrepreneurs modeled after Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator. The fund, like Y Combinator, seeks to accelerate companies which have the potential to reach the vaunted “unicorn” status ($1 billion valuation). However, NXTP Labs’ mission also includes nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America, therefore making it a perfect natural partner for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Are women left with the short end of the stick when it comes to financing their startups?

By Susana Garcia-Robles

Throughout the world, the idea is gradually catching hold that including women in businesses and in positions of leadership results in more creative and more complementary work teams. The belief is that women’s vision helps businesses go further, and making them participants in the world of work creates better managed and more successful businesses. The result is the so-called “gender dividend.” 

Standing Stronger and Stronger: High-Impact Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Susana Garcia-Robles

Are you crazy? was the reaction that Claudia Heredia got when she announced to her family and friends that she was quitting her promising corporate career at Procter & Gamble to start her own business. Without a doubt, it was one of the hardest decisions of her life, but the desire to start something of her own, create jobs, and contribute to the development of e-commerce in her native Mexico, a sector still in its infancy, were much stronger than job security and protection. Four years later, Kichink!, the company she started with her husband, became the largest e-commerce platform in Mexico, with more than 45,000 stores registered and a team of no fewer than 100 people. Her mantra? Dare and don’t be afraid to fail. 

Not Afraid of Dreaming Big-Not Afraid of Failing Fast

By Susana Garcia-Robles

(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) 

Picture a street anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean.

A woman in high heels stumbles on the sidewalk, falls flat on her face, cuts her knee, and her tights get a big run and hole in them. How does she react? She looks around, sees three people running to help her, turns as red as her bleeding knee, and jumps up. She tells them, “Nothing happened”, and she walks away as fast as she can.

WeXchange, the sequel

By Susana Garcia-Robles

Almost three years ago, the MIF asked us to apply a “gender lens” to all of our operations. So our Early Stage Equity team brainstormed about how we could do this, and decided to take an entrepreneurial approach. First, we began contacting our colleagues and friends who had a role in building entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region. After many calls, a clear focus for our intervention emerged: women entrepreneurs’ need to strengthen and expand their networks, and to find women role models.