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.

Banks seem eager to reach more SMEs – but how?

By Tetsuro Narita

At noon on a Sunday in Lima, more than 170 bankers from the Latin American and Caribbean region were in a conference room to attend a panel discussion on a new risk analysis tool for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), resisting the temptation to go out and enjoy fine Peruvian cuisine. It was encouraging.

The panel discussion, titled “Revolutionizing the financing of small and medium sized enterprises: The decision of banks to base their risk analysis on psychometric parameters,” was organized by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the Financial Markets Division of the Structured and Corporate Finance Department of the IDB Group, as a part of theXLVI Annual Assembly of the Federation of Latin American Banks (FELABAN), held November 17-20, Lima.

Dignity in the dump

By Elizabeth Terry




We had a visit from a movie star at the IDB this week! Sebastiao “Tiao” dos Santos is one of the principal subjects of “Waste Land,” a 2010 documentary that won many prestigious film festival prizes and was even nominated for an Oscar. The film depicts the community of catadores, or “waste pickers,” who eke out a meager living collecting and selling recyclable materials in Jardim Gramacho, a massive landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Renowned artist Vik Muniz spent time at the dump creating striking multimedia portraits of some of the catadores, and the documentary shows the process of the artistic collaboration and how the artist and his subjects inspired each other.

La Denominación de Origen: Un factor de éxito para el café

By Betsy Murray

Piense en el aroma de una taza de ese delicioso café recién preparado… en esos sabores, de frutas y nueces… en fin, ese café especial.

El reciente anuncio de la Denominación de Origen para el Café Acatenango en Guatemala es, sin duda un sello de garantía para que la calidad del café se mantenga en el tiempo. Pero, ¿de qué se trata y por qué es tan importante? La Denominación de Origen es un reconocimiento legal, como los derechos de propiedad intelectual, válida en el mercado local e internacional donde el producto esté registrado.

Emprender un negocio: Una opción posible para los jóvenes, y como apoyarlos

By Mariana Wettstein

Para millones de personas en el mundo la decisión de  iniciar un negocio propio no está basada en la existencia de una oportunidad sino en una apremiante necesidad. La Semana Emprendedora, recientemente celebrada a nivel mundial, es una buena oportunidad para pensar también en aquellos que emprenden porque no tienen opciones laborales y necesitan una fuente de ingresos. Está claro que la mejor opción para los jóvenes es seguir estudiando, pero cuando la necesidad impone la búsqueda de ingresos y conseguir un trabajo no resulta fácil, emprender un negocio propio se convierte en la opción posible. Conscientes de esta realidad, el FOMIN  también ha apoyado la actividad emprendedora motivada por la necesidad, enfocándose principalmente en jóvenes de bajos ingresos. 

Where innovation pays off: Helping low-income Haitians access environmentally-friendly energy products

By Nara Meli

In April 2011, the MIF approved a pilot project to improve low-income Haitians’ access to environmentally-friendly electricity by using remittances to buy sustainable energy products. The project, “Remittances as a source of end-user finance for sustainable energy”, is the result of a partnership with Arc Finance, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Basel Agency for Sustainable Development (BASE), and FoodExpress/SogeXpress, companies based in the US and Haiti. The project is testing an innovative remittance transfer model, where the clients use remittances to buy energy products: members of the Haitian diaspora living in the US can directly purchase low-cost and energy-efficient products to send to Haiti, with SogeXpress, the local Haitian partner, delivering the products in Haiti, also directly benefiting from capacity building and strengthening of the business model. This is a model that has not yet been tested anywhere else in the world, and is a path breaking initiative. The MIF has clear added value in this project given its great knowledge of remittances and access foci on climate change, energy access, payments and transfers, and Haiti.

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