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.

Stuck on how to get involved in microinsurance?

Por Shoshana Grossman-Crist

Does this sound familiar? Over the last few months, you and your colleagues have had a number of discussions on getting involved in microinsurance. Clear data on its benefits to clients is flowing in— maybe you read the ILO’s review on the impact of microinsurance and accompanying infographic.  Evidence on the viability of business models is becoming stronger— perhaps you saw Craig Churchill and Michael McCord’s presentation on “the magical balance” from the International Microinsurance Conference last November. Yet even as the fundamental role that microinsurance plays in financial inclusion and protection of low-income people is becoming clearer, the gap in coverage persists. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 350 million low-income people do not have insurance.

Building up biz in the Caribbean: investigating demand for microcredit

Por Ryan Tang

Despite efforts from microfinance practitioners and donors to develop microfinance in the Caribbean, uptake of formal microcredit has lagged behind expectations in some cases. Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence indicates that many microentrepreneurs continue to use informal financing alternatives, such as rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), moneylenders, and supplier credit. This raises important questions about the potential for microfinance in the Caribbean. Why do some microentrepreneurs still turn to informal mechanisms instead of formal microcredit to finance their business? What characteristics of financing are most important to Caribbean microentrepreneurs? 

The Savings Group Revolution

Por Guest

Photo from Ashe's 2013 publication Deep Outreach Financial Inclusion

A blog written by Jeffrey Ashe, Adjunt Associate Prof. Brandeis and Columbia University. 

Vea la versión en español del blog en el blog de ProAhorros

The market for better financial services is vast. More than two billion people worldwide could benefit from a better way to save and borrow. Institutional microfinance has made an important dent in that demand; outreach has grown to 200 million borrowers in just thirty years. Except in a handful of countries, however, eight of ten of the poorest are not using banks, microfinance institutions and credit unions, even in Latin America. They are villagers and slum dwellers whose needs for saving and borrowing are too small for financial institutions to make a profit.  They need a safe convenient place to save more than they need a loan, and their needs focus more on meeting their daily expenses than on business development.

Smart Aid and the MIF

Por Georg Neumann

In 2013, the MIF received the highest SmartAid score awarded to date from CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor). SmartAid is an index that measures the effectiveness of institutions that fund financial inclusion projects. In this video, MIF General Manager Nancy Lee, Chief of the Access to Finance Unit Tomas Miller, and Senior Specialist Sergio Navajas talk about the experience of going through the SmartAid process and how the lessons learned will benefit the MIF going forward.

A manifesto for microinsurance donors in 2014

Por Shoshana Grossman-Crist

By Shoshana Grossman-Crist, based on the work of Michael J. McCord, Molly Ingram and Clémence Tatin-Jaleran of the Microinsurance Centre

It may be the end of January already, but the opportunity that a new year provides to think critically about our actions is too good to let go after just a few weeks. So I want to pause for a moment on the value that donors such as the MIF bring to the microinsurance market, and propose a manifesto to carry with us to ensure that our investments in Latin America in 2014 have maximum impact.