latest news

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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Why Regional Economic Development matters and the MIF’s approach

Despite gains in poverty reduction and a growing middle class, Latin American and Caribbean countries continue to see disparities in income, poverty, and access to basic services between their various states or provinces. To address these differences, governments are reexamining existing policies and developing new approaches for productive development with a focus on comparative advantages and public-private collaboration at the regional level.
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Is bringing financial inclusion to your doorstep the solution?

The recent publication of the memoires from the savings colloquium organized by the ProSavings Program in November 2014 led me to reflect on several issues. For instance, even though inclusive savings experiences have been implemented in several different parts of the region, we find that people who live in remote locations continue to face prohibitive costs in traveling to points of service to make deposits and thus achieve their savings goals. While the ProSavings Program has contributed toward motivating conditional transfer beneficiaries to save in a formal way - something this segment rarely did before- I wonder: what is the solution for those people who still find formal savings extremely costly?
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Empezar por el final: El truco para una exitosa gestión de conocimiento

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.
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No one visits the microentrepreneur

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.

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Being the master of your own time in Paraguay

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. 

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How to scale up youth employment and entrepreneurship projects

Countless organizations across the region aim to help youth fulfill their potential and be better prepared for jobs and their lives ahead. At the MIF, we’ve seen and supported many innovative youth training projects, including approaches that use sports, arts, or even circus acts. However, many such pilot-scale youth employment and entrepreneurship projects remain small. How can we at the MIF help them expand their reach to wider populations? And what are the critical factors that lead to their success or failure on a larger scale? 

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