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.

Demand Solutions and NEXSO partner to identify the most “disruptive” startups addressing urban challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Yves Lesenfants

Por Yves Lesenfants  y Juan Luis Landeta*

NEXSO, the open platform for innovation and knowledge developed by the MIF that facilitates interaction between innovators and development actors in Latin America and the Caribbean, is  proud to have been part of the call for proposals at the recent IDB Demand Solutions Venture Night, which sought to recognize the work of young innovators, between 18 and 35 years old, to improve lives in cities across the region.

Springing up the education ladder in Haiti: From brain drain to brain gain

By Nara Meli

“What is the point of college?” asked the New York Times’ Sunday Magazine recently. In the United States, the question of the value of investing in higher education stems from the steep price of attending college, particularly “for the average American household that doesn’t receive a lot of financial aid.”

Redefining property: The sharing economy

By Fernando Jiménez-Ontiveros

The world’s largest taxi company, Uber, doesn’t own a car; the fifth largest lodging company, Airbnb, doesn’t own a room; the biggest social network, Facebook, doesn’t produce content. 

These platforms allow a massive sharing of resources. Today’s combination of disruptive information technologies and globalization has achieved the death of distance. Any individual or company now has full access to information and global markets in real time. This has unleashed the power of people to share ideas, financing, and goods and service in a way that has changed forever how we communicate, interact, and exchange ideas and resources. 

Step No.1 to win low-income customers: discard your stereotypes

By Guest

By Susan Olsen

An unwillingness to overcome stereotypes about people at the economic base of the pyramid (BOP) could easily be the most important explanation of why some BOP-focused companies aren’t successful. Shattering stereotypes before starting an inclusive business model was the basis for a provocative panel discussion that took place during the Inter-American Development Bank’sBASE III Forum in Mexico City this summer.

Social entrepreneurship enters the mainstream

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Once a niche concept at the intersection of business and development, “social entrepreneurship” is now mainstream. A social entrepreneur, according to Ashoka founder Bill Draper, who coined the term in 1980, is a person with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. A social enterprise is one that deliberately expands access to goods, services, income, and employment opportunities for vulnerable populations as part of its core business while seeking return on investment. Social entrepreneurship is increasingly appealing to people, and the idea of using a MBA degree to do good while doing well has grown in popularity on campuses and in businesses around the globe.