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.

The timing is right for impact investing in Latin America

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

There is increasing momentum behind impact investing—the global movement of investors, development agencies, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists working to realize financial, social, and environmental gains.

Add Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

“Add Impact” is the new rallying cry of the Global Impact Investing community, which concluded a two-day plenary meeting of its Steering Group in Lisbon, Portugal on July 8.  Championed by Sir Ronald Cohen, founder of Big Society Capital (BSC), which is hailed as the world's first social investment bank, the Global Impact Investing Steering Group is the heart and mind of a growing social investment movement bent on making impact investing mainstream.  Impact investments are those that intentionally target specific social objectives along with a financial return and measure the achievement of both. BSC formally launched in April 2012, using an estimated £400million in unclaimed assets left dormant in bank accounts for over 15 years and £200million from the UK’s largest high street banks.

Building a skilled workforce across Latin America and the Caribbean

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Another new area of strategic focus within the MIF is “Knowledge Economy”. Elizabeth Boggs-Davidsen, head of the new unit explains that “all of the new focus areas within the MIF involve the creation, use and adoption of technology to promote impact. The Knowledge Economy area is where we are really trying to work towards knowledge intensive sectors and build a much more skilled workforce across Latin America and the Caribbean.” 

A New Playbook for Companies Venturing for Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

The Paris-based food products company Danone, the Spanish-based bank BBVA, and the British utility company Centrica have something important in common. Each of these large multinationals has figured out effective ways to bring together its core financial, human, and technological strengths, along with massive networks, to provide business support to social entrepreneurs. Innovation and investment teams within large companies are coming together to design strategies that allow their businesses to explore and experiment with new models that are intentionally trying to create positive returns to the communities where they operate.  This is in part due to complex macro-economic trends – climate change, big data, mass urbanization – that require strategic considerations and introduce greater levels of uncertainty in operations. It is also in order to appeal to the values ofmillennials, who companies like Danone, BBVA and Centrica employ and hope to retain, as well as “hipster” consumers who are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.

“Cracking the nut” on inclusive agricultural value chains

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

This year, the IDB played host to the 2016 Cracking the Nut conference, an annual international gathering that focuses on rural and agricultural development. Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen, who oversees a portfolio of MIF projects that includes efforts related to developing agricultural value chains, presented welcoming remarks at the conference. The following is adapted from her address.