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.

Being the master of your own time in Paraguay

By Rebecca Rouse

When was the last time your bank let you know how much they valued your time? Better yet, when was the last time they proved it to you? For most of us, waiting in line is just a part of life. Applying for a loan? Get in line. Picking up a remittance? The line starts here. Right? Not necessarily. Last week in the city of Luque, Paraguay, I had the chance to tour a new model of bank branch that is trying to reinvent the customer experience. 

Local input, strategic partners, lessons learned inform future work in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

When the sun dawned on Haiti on January 11th, 2010, a day after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country, the outlook was bleak. Hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, families, or friends, as well as their homes. While the earthquake has had many deep and lasting repercussions, in the years since then, there have been many promising developments. They become evident during conversations with Haitian entrepreneurs these days. 

No one visits the microentrepreneur

By Fermín Vivanco

Photo: Javier Davila, breakwaybackpacker

Technology can complement a good client relationship, but it cannot replace it

A good client relationship is essential to the business models for financial inclusion in the region. There is a risk of weakening this relationship if it is channeled solely through electronic means.

These days, the MIF is starting an evaluation in Paraguay of Tigo Money: Last Mile Mobile Financial Services, the first project within the Technologies for Financial Inclusion (Tec-In) Program  to reach the finish line. Among other things, the evaluation will help us better understand clients’ experiences in applying for credit via mobile devices through Credicedula. This is a signature product of Tigo Paraguay, winner of the 2014 Inter-American Award on Digital Finance, and Banco Familiar, winner of theBeyond Banking Award 2015 - both presented by the IDB. Through Credicedula, clients apply for credit directly from their cellphones, without having to contact a loan officer or visit the officer at a branch.

Empezar por el final: El truco para una exitosa gestión de conocimiento

By Shoshana Grossman-Crist

Hace ocho meses cambié de puesto dentro del FOMIN. Anteriormente trabajaba en conjunto con nuestros socios del área de microseguros en la identificación y diseminación de lecciones aprendidas en sus proyectos. La labor que desempeño en la actualidad es la de apoyar a los equipos FOMIN cuyo enfoque de trabajo es el acceso a financiamiento, en el fortalecimiento de la gestión de conocimiento y comunicación que ellos, a su vez, hacen con los proyectos.

Can we invest intelligently in microfinance?

By Yuri Soares

Microfinance has grown from an outfit financed by a few donors and philanthropic foundations, to a large and profitable industry: a multi-billion-dollar worldwide endeavor reaching 2 billion clients in low- and middle-income countries. The amount of international public and private funding to microfinance institutions has likewise increased dramatically—I estimate by a factor of 14 over the past decade — reaching $31 billion in 2013. Given this success, and the amount spent by impact investors (including development finance institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank), are we investing intelligently?