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.

Increasing access to credit without increasing the risk of the portfolio

By Irani Arraiz

In September 2011, FOMIN presented a project to the donors committee that aimed to test a novel approach to evaluate the credit worthiness of micro and small entrepreneurs.  It was a tool developed by the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, a for-profit organization created in 2010 after developing a low-cost credit screening prototype at the Harvard Center for International Development.

Innovation alone won’t change habits

By Irani Arraiz

I like observing people. Not in a creepy, nosy way. More in a want-to-understand-how-people-behave kind of way.

In search of high-growth enterprises

By Irani Arraiz

Photo by Robert Scoble

According to the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys, about 10.5% of formal firms in Latin America have been in operation for 5 years or less.  This is bad news for innovation and growth in the region.  In a typical year in the US, startups—or businesses that are just beginning to operate—account for about 10% of firms (in a typical year, 35% of firms have been in operation for 5 years or less).  These numbers are important because from this pool of young firms spring those that drive job creation, output, and innovation.  Although we know very little about firm dynamics in Latin America, we can draw some conclusions by looking at what we know about firms in the US:

Acceso a electricidad en zonas remotas de Perú: el caso de ACCIONA Micro Energía

By Irani Arraiz

Instalación de paneles solares. Acciona Microenergía Peru

¿Qué alternativas tenemos si queremos proveer acceso a electricidad a familias muy pobres en zonas remotas y de difícil acceso? Sabemos que si el costo de llegar a comunidades distantes excede cierto umbral, es más económico usar fuentes off-grid como mini-redes servidas por mini-centrales hidráulicas, generadores a diésel, o sistemas fotovoltaicos (comunitarios o domiciliares).  Pero incluso estas tecnologías siguen siendo costosas y fuera del alcance de muchas de estas familias.