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Our latest press releases and project announcements. 

MIF invests in Mexican Venture Fund for Services Innovation

Jun 3, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has approved a $2 million equity investment in Venture Innovation Fund II, a Mexican early stage venture capital fund that will provide long-term financing and value-added guidance on business development for up to 14 start-ups in Mexico.

Venture Innovation Fund II’s strategy will be to target companies in the health care services, financial services, and other technology services (education, e-commerce, etc.) sectors. Target companies will be at an early stage, and the Fund will make initial investments of at least US$ 400K with follow-on investments determined by company performance.  The fund will be managed by Venture Partners, LP, founders of the Venture Institute accelerator in Mexico City.

“The Fund’s commitment to financing innovative service technologies is not only expected to stimulate creation of high-skilled jobs, but also to expand access to health and financial services for underserved communities,” said MIF Senior Investment Officer Rogerio Ramos.

The MIF has an extensive track record investing in seed and VC funds throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region, and has pioneered the first efforts to build the industry in Mexico. All this experience will allow the MIF to provide relevant know-how during the Fund’s fundraising and operational stages.  The MIF will also add value to the new fund’s managers by facilitating access to a network of practitioners and potential partners, and by promoting the use of international best practices, environmental, and social standards in the fund’s corporate governance.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor - their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them the tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory - experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks in order to build and support successful micro and SME business models. More information at www.fomin.org.

 

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Financial inclusion just a click away: E-wallets and payment platforms

By Sergio Navajas and Valentina Echeverry  

Also published on Sustainable Business blog

In Latin America, 60 percent of the population lacks access to financial services, equivalent to approximately 250 million people. However, mobile phone penetration is between 90 and 100 percent.  In some countries, such as Colombia, penetration is 105 percent. This indicates that most people have a mobile device and some, even two. What role do mobile wallets and payment platforms play in financial inclusion?

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CMF VI food for thought: Carib-Cap III and other ideas about future microfinance development in the Caribbean

Panelists share lessons learned from Carib-Cap

During the second session of the Caribbean Microfinance Forum VI (CMF VI), one of the panelists, Curven Whyte, Microfinance Coordinator of a major Jamaican credit union, cited the growth in the industry brought about by the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity Building projects (Carib-Cap) I and II and called for a Carib-Cap III. The audience applauded and I couldn’t help but smile because at the CMF last year, the donors—MIF included—had said they would continue supporting microfinance in the Caribbean but not through a regional, multi-donor Carib-Cap III project. Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the CMF VI, calls for a Carib-Cap III resounded and it became evident that many microfinance stakeholders thought Carib-Cap I and II had accomplished a lot but that need for additional support remained in the Caribbean.

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De las finanzas digitales a los microseguros digitales

En un blog anterior mi colega, Fermin Vivanco, argumentó que la conversación alrededor del tema del uso de celulares para realizar transferencias de dinero,  o  las ‘finanzas digitales’, está entrando en una nueva fase.  En vez de ver el uso de teléfonos celulares solamente como una herramienta para cumplir con objetivos de inclusión financiera, por su habilidad para llegar a una mayor población y promover el acceso financiero de los usuarios de la base de pirámide,  también se deben considerar los beneficios secundarios que las finanzas digitales ofrecen a sus usuarios.  Uno de estos beneficios es la facilidad y rapidez con la que un usuario puede acceder a efectivo a través de un cajero automático o un agente local, después de ser notificado acerca de la transferencia de fondos. El ahorro en tiempo y en dinero implica que el cliente no tiene que acercarse a una sede central para recibir su dinero, un beneficio que se vuelve particularmente importante cuando la persona se encuentra en una situación de emergencia. 
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