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.

Some say bank branches are doomed; is traditional banking on its way out?

By Maria Luisa Hayem

In my recent visits to two branches of two major banks in the United States, I witnessed the discontent of bank clients waiting to be served by a single teller. The rest of the teller windows seemed abandoned.

The Future of Financial Inclusion

By Sergio Navajas

In the last week of October 2015, the MIF’s annual Foromic conference took place in Santiago, Chile. This is the region’s largest gathering on financial inclusion—with over 1,300 participants, it is a must-attend for financial industry managers, government officials, investors, donors, consultants, and other stakeholders. It provides the ideal backdrop to discuss the future of financial inclusion.

Ecatepec, Mexico: Here you can save for retirement

By Fermín Vivanco

Low-income, self-employed workers in Latin America and the Caribbean have been out of the spotlight of pension funds and the institutions that promote retirement savings. But now there are new initiatives that aim to change this. A story to analyze at Foromic in Santiago, Chile.

Coming Soon: Foromic in Santiago, Chile

By Elizabeth Terry

We are packing our suitcases and getting ready to launch the XVIII Foromic, the MIF’s largest annual event and the leading conference on microfinance and microenterprise in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year’s Foromic takes place October 26-28 in the dynamic city of Santiago, Chile.

Time to Think

By Fermín Vivanco

12 years ago, only a bare hillside and a crop of onions separated Marino's house from Lake La Cocha, at more than 2,600 meters above sea level, in the department of Nariño, Colombia. Today the lake view is adorned by a variety of trees, including several native species of La Cocha that Marino has been replanting in recent years. Trees protect and nourish cabbages, beans, racachas, cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, gooseberries, and a long list of crops in his small piece of land. "Every day you plant something," says Marino, who grows a dozen varieties of potatoes.