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.

A New Playbook for Companies Venturing for Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

The Paris-based food products company Danone, the Spanish-based bank BBVA, and the British utility company Centrica have something important in common. Each of these large multinationals has figured out effective ways to bring together its core financial, human, and technological strengths, along with massive networks, to provide business support to social entrepreneurs. Innovation and investment teams within large companies are coming together to design strategies that allow their businesses to explore and experiment with new models that are intentionally trying to create positive returns to the communities where they operate.  This is in part due to complex macro-economic trends – climate change, big data, mass urbanization – that require strategic considerations and introduce greater levels of uncertainty in operations. It is also in order to appeal to the values ofmillennials, who companies like Danone, BBVA and Centrica employ and hope to retain, as well as “hipster” consumers who are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.

Retos para financiar la infraestructura urbana

By Guest

Este blog forma parte de la serie de blogs hacia PPPAméricas 2016, que este año se llevará a cabo en Santiago, Chile del 20 al 22 de junio.  

Por Ellis Juan, Jefe de la División de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano del BID

El mejoramiento de la infraestructura urbana es un catalizador del desarrollo sostenible, estrechamente vinculado al crecimiento económico, al aumento de la productividad, a la reducción de la pobreza y a mayor equidad. Sin embargo, en América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) existe una brecha de infraestructura urbana tal que se requieren alrededor de US$100 mil millones anuales durante los próximos años para cerrarla – excluyendo componentes de adaptación/resiliencia que suponen un aumento en la inversión entre el 10% y 20%

Shortening distances in economic development: the poor as a digital crowd

By César Buenadicha

Photo by Matt Phipps

How many clicks separate economic development practitioners in Washington, D.C., from the beneficiaries of their projects in other parts of the world? Probably a few clicks (according to 
the theory of six degrees of separation).

How to effectively launch youth into the workforce minimal cost, maximum employment

By Mariel Sabra

Imagine if just about every single person in New York City were on the job hunt…at the same time!

That’s the case for youth in Latin America and the Caribbean: according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 7.8 million of the region’s young people are looking for work. Youth unemployment for these youth ages 15-24 averages 13.4%, double the 6.3% general unemployment rate. This figure is particularly high for young women, at 17.2% versus 11.3% for young men. 

The market for climate resilience: Hidden in plain sight?

By Steve Wilson

Households, businesses, and communities everywhere are vulnerable to a growing array of risks related to climate change. These risks arise as a result of climate variability, caused primarily by the long-term emission of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Climate risks are manifold: floods, drought, extreme winds, heat waves, sea level rise, invasive pests, and wildfires, among others. Understandably, extreme weather events such as hurricanes and major floods receive the most attention. But longer-term, incremental changes (such as in temperature and precipitation patterns) can be at least as costly and can threaten our very survival—endangering our food supply, water and energy security, health, businesses, livelihoods, and human settlements.