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.

Bubbling up: Boosting the Haitian sorghum value chain through local sourcing

By Nara Meli

Photo by  Papyrus Haiti

If you were to ask any Haitian whether they’d heard of Malta H, you’d probably get a laugh and a friendly eye roll as answer. This is because Malta H is a hugely popular non-alcoholic carbonated malt drink most Haitians have probably quenched their thirst with since childhood. You can see the national enthusiasm for the drink in this TV ad. It even has a Twitter handle. Malta H is one of the bevy of drinks produced by Heineken-owned BRANA – the Brasserie nationale d’Haïti. 

What good is capital without customers? Financial inclusion is necessary for healthy societies

By Tomas Miller

Trends is on vacation this week. This post ran previously on our blog. 

The financial inclusion strategies that several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are adopting and incorporating into their national development policies aim at increasing access to and use of financial services for segments of the population that have been excluded or underserved by financial systems. These policies assume that achieving a higher level of financial inclusion is a necessary condition for increasing the social inclusion of these excluded people. What good is having a solvent and liquid financial system if it serves only businesses and powerful families? What good is capital without customers? 

Cómo liberar el potencial de los emprendedores

By Rebeca Granda


El ecosistema emprendedor de América Latina sólo tiene un protagonista: el emprendedor(a). El resto de organizaciones y actores, juegan un papel secundario pero clave para convertir nuestra región en un conjunto de economías basadas en la innovación. Estas son 4 de mis reflexiones sobre cómo liberar el potencial de los emprendedores tras asistir al seminario  5° Seminario-Taller para Profesionales del Ecosistema Emprendedor en América Latina organizado por el Prodem:

Looking behind the picture of mobile money

By Fermín Vivanco

The argument goes like this: “Most people in developing countries have mobile phones, so voilà, they could use those phones to access financial services”. It sounds reasonable.  For many, mere use of a mobile phone for financial services seems to be exciting enough. These days, some people even think that mobile financial services will eventually make banks obsolete.  If you visit many of the donor-sponsored websites that pay homage to mobile financial services, such as Better than Cash, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Financial Access Initiative, Mobile Money for the Unbanked, and others, you are likely to find photos of entrepreneurs with a mobile phone and a smile.  The pictures are powerful, but what do they mean? What, exactly, is the positive effect of using of mobile phones for financial services?

Businesses fueled by remittances: What we’re learning about diaspora entrepreneurs

By Rebecca Rouse

One fateful trip to the salon was all it took to turn a Philadelphia-area strategy consultant into a diaspora entrepreneur. Haitian-born Yve-Car Momperousse had the idea to start her business, Kreyol Essence, after being unable to find Haitian Black Castor Oil—which she remembered from her childhood as a miracle cure for dry and damaged hair—on the market in the United States. Today, Kreyol Essence’s line of luxury beauty products from Haiti has created much-needed jobs and brings natural, Haitian-sourced ingredients to buyers all over the United States. Momperousse shared her company’s story at last week’s Business Future of the Americas conference in Port-au-Prince.