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.

¿Las empresas sociales deberían crecer para tener un impacto a gran escala en la sociedad?

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka y Claudio Cortellese

Hay una proliferación a nivel mundial de las llamadas "empresas sociales" que, además de ganancias financieras, generan bienes y servicios que benefician a la sociedad. Del mismo modo, estamos viendo aceleradoras de empresas sociales –intermediarios especializados que ofrecen herramientas de negocio y enfoques a los empresarios sociales para acelerar el crecimiento de una idea que se asume que va crear un impacto positivo–. Los profesionales del desarrollo que trabajan en la construcción del sector privado tienen curiosidad acerca de lo que significa la aceleración de una empresa social. Pero quizás una pregunta más fundamental debería ser, primero que todo: ¿es necesario acelerar un negocio social?

International development organizations and poverty measurement—are we doing it right?

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka



Recently, the MIF published a study on how microfinance institutions and others in Latin America and the Caribbean use Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) to measure the impact their work has on reducing poverty. The study also got me thinking about how my colleagues and our counterparts in international development use this tool ourselves—and about how other, perhaps unexpected, entities use it.

Can development work “run lean”?

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka


On June 25th in Santiago, Chile, I had the privilege of listening to Ash Maurya. Along with Erick Ries and Steve Blank, Ash is one of today’s most popular “rock stars” on the topic of entrepreneurship. He was a keynote speaker at this year’s National Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, organized by SOFOFA, the Chilean Federation of Industry - one of Latin America’s most influential private sector organizations.

Ash’s book, “Running Lean,” has become the most useful practical guide for millions of entrepreneurs in the world. Of course, in my own presentation right before his, I did not fail to say “Lean Startup” out loud in my last slide (he caught right on to that!).

Organ donations, gym memberships, and savings commitments: A new approach to financial inclusion

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka

I have seen this picture presented three times by Sendhil Mullainathan, a Harvard professor of economics, who says that economists observe strange phenomena and try to rationalize them with theories, but there are some that are not so obvious.   

Innovating Innovation? A report from Cordoba, Argentina

Por Nobuyuki Otsuka

The entire audience in the conference room at the Hotel Sheraton laughed at the picture of a “mini-fan attached to chopsticks” that Argentinian freelance consultant Eduardo Kastika showed at the Innovation Summit held on May 21st in Cordoba. It was highly unusual to see more than 450 participants from reputable Cordoba-based firms – uptight, well-dressed corporate executives – intensely listening to Eduardo speaking about “innovation.” So what is new in the already “worn out” topic of innovation?