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.

Shifting toward the knowledge economy

By Norah Sullivan

The tech world is abuzz with advances in the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), robotics, and 3D printing. These headline-grabbing innovations are just part of the greater digital revolution that has been sweeping across the globe in the last decade.

Venture Capital: Driving Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Yuri Soares

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Startups and scaleups create the vast majority of jobs in the formal economy, providing, on average, 66% of the jobs worldwide, and the greatest share of jobs in low income countries. Moreover, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is important not just for job creation, but also for economic growth, thanks to its outstanding capacity to increase productivity through innovation. For example, approximately 85% of growth between 1900 and 1950 is attributable to innovation, rather than increased usage of inputs, and the financing of SMEs via risk capital —most notably venture capital, which is also called smart capital because it combines financing with active hands-on support— has been found to be three to four times more effective at generating innovation than other alternatives, such as corporate research or development funding.

Testing ourselves: do we have unconscious bias about gender and work?

By Guest

By Andrew Morrison

Andrew Morrison is the Gender and Diversity Division Chief at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Prior to joining the IDB, he worked at the World Bank as Lead Economist in the Gender and Development Group and as Regional Gender Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He also has worked as an associate professor of economics at Tulane University and the University of New Mexico (U.S.)

Empowering community forests in the fight against climate change

By Gregory Watson

By Ben Hodgdon and Gregory Watson

When most people think about climate change, the first thing that comes to mind is the burning of fossil fuels for energy or transport. Rarely are forests considered. But they must be. The deal struck at the Paris climate change summit (COP 21) in December 2015 confirmed this. Forests and forestry, long a side note to larger conversations about reduction of emissions from energy supply and use, were topics of increased focus and discussion. 

Where is the for Latin America and the Caribbean?

By Marcelo Cabrol

Coding is basic literacy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is an integral part of the digital age, which in turn has ushered in that revolution. As popularized over the past year or so by the World Economic Forum and others, this revolution is based on the arrival of new, emerging technologies that are intersecting at exponential rates of speed and scale, dramatically increasing productivity and economic growth, and creating better jobs and entirely new industries. Code powers this digital world. Every website, smartphone app, computer program, calculator and even microwave oven relies on code to operate. This makes coders the architects and builders of the digital age.