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 can make the world a better place—here’s how

By Guest

By Angela Miller

When people are asked to name institutions they trust, banks rarely top the list. In fact, they don’t usually make  the top five. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, the financial sector is among the least trusted industries, a position it has held since the depth of the global financial crisis in 2008.

3 key tips to help you on your funding journey

By Guest

By Anne Ravanona, Founder and CEO of Global Invest Her
Looking for funding is difficult for any entrepreneur and the hard truth is that it is harder for women entrepreneurs. Today, only 4% of Venture Capitalist and 20% of Business Angels in the US are women. In the UK, only 14% of business angels are women and am pretty sure the figures may be even lower in Latin America. Ok so that was the bad news! The good news is that things are moving forward, although still slowly.

Wanted: Soft skills

By Yuri Soares

When Diogo Barbosa was hired to work at a construction site for the subway in Rio de Janeiro, he did not give much thought to the path that took him from the streets of a Rio slum, to the work site of a well-paying formal job. Nor was he thinking of the skills he had acquired throughout his lifetime, and how they would be key to his success. Rather, he was intent on making the best of the opportunity at hand. Diogo is one of those employees that bosses really like. He is always on time at the job site, and will often stay later if needed. According to job site supervisor he never passes up an opportunity to learn a new skill. He takes the initiative to help others get the job done. He is also known to solve complicated problems, and his peers often turn to him for help.

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.

Equal potential, unequal paths: Explaining the gender gap in entrepreneurial success

By Yuri Soares

At the annual summit last week of the Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA), it is was evident that we’ve learned much over the past few years on how to fashion effective approaches to help women entrepreneurs. GBA is a group of financial institutions, including some of the world’s main banks, dedicated to expanding access to financial services for women, with an emphasis on targeting women-led enterprises. Its member banks are experimenting with innovative—and profitable—approaches.