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.

Can small businesses help conserve biodiversity?

By Jennifer Baldwin

By Jennifer Baldwin

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a biodiversity “superpower” according to a recent report from the United Nations. From tropical rainforests to coral reefs, to high-altitude plains to vast savannas, this region contains a variety of unique ecosystems that support a stunning diversity of flora and fauna. Many small producers and businesses in the region are dependent upon this endowment of natural capital for their livelihoods. But growing natural resource consumption and infrastructure expansion threatens these ecosystems and their inhabitants.

A lack of angel investors and the loneliness of the entrepreneur, key issues on Latin America’s VC ecosystem

By Susana Garcia-Robles

A lack of angel investors is one of the key issues in Latin America today, because entrepreneurs are not going to be successful if they don’t have the initial financial and value-add support they need to convert their ideas into start-ups. It is very important for a country to have angel investors willing to take on risk, to know how much they can allocate –and be willing to lose—in these start-ups every year. Angel networks in Latin America have had difficulty becoming really active for several reasons.

Microfranchising at FOROMIC 2012

By César Buenadicha

Guest post by Barri Shorey, Youth & Livelihoods Technical Advisor, The International Rescue Committee

More and more people are beginning to recognize the great potential for job creation, private sector development and support to vulnerable populations microfranchise has. With that in mind I was asked to help moderate and contribute to this year’s Foromic panel titled Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Microfranchising. The microfranchise model enables low-income individuals to own and operate a ready-made “business-in-a-box,” utilizing proven strategies and an established brand from a corporate, franchise partner. 

Women craft a better life with Wakami Villages

By Jessica Olivan Tellez

Reality in Guatemala, as in many other countries in the region, is hard. Poverty levels in rural areas are very high, which combines with a lack of sustainable income to become the recipe for and main cause of a reduced quality of life. When the gender ingredient is added to this daunting formula it becomes explosive, and for indigenous women things are complicated even further. But it does not need to remain so. A trio of Guatemalan women has been working for almost 20 years so that this vicious circle becomes a virtuous one.

Sustainable agriculture sustains a community in Guatemala

By Alejandro Escobar A.

I was really looking forward to this trip to Guatemala. I had been there before on several occasions, and so I knew what to expect in terms of travel, roads, weather and of course, coffee cooperatives. I´ve also been on dozens of due diligence missions during my years at the Bank, traveling all over the region to check in on projects we have funded or are considering funding. But this visit promised to be different. And it sure was.