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.

The turnaround: Helping CariCRIS find success

By Yongdong Bao

CariCRIS is a rating agency founded in 2004 in Trinidad & Tobago to serve the Caribbean region. Its major shareholders include the MIF/IDB, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), CRISL, the Indian credit rating agency majority-owned by Standard and Poor’s, ,and some central banks in the region.  The MIF provided grant and investment financing to help launch the company. When I was entrusted to look after the project in early 2013, CariCRIS had been operating at a loss for its entire history because it did not have enough clients, and was running out of capital. 

The MIF in Jamaica: Small businesses, small country, small projects... large impact

By Winsome Leslie

Three years ago, I and my MIF colleagues who focus on Jamaica made a deliberate decision to target access to finance for Jamaican SMEs--a critical area of need in the country, and one in which we could make a difference. Today, the MIF portfolio in Jamaica includes a group of mutually reinforcing projects that offer support to small and medium firms through a range of models. I recently attended the 2015 Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Conference in Kingston, which got me reflecting on the progress we’ve made with this targeted approach. 

Foromic 2014: Closing remarks

By Nancy Lee, General Manager



During the closing ceremony for the 2014 Foromic in Guayaquil, Ecuador, MIF General Manager Nancy Lee reviewed highlights from the conference and shared her top ten takeaways from the panels and other events. Topics discussed included advances in digital financial services, crowdfunding platforms, and savings products.

Durante la ceremonia de cierre del Foromic en Guayaquil, Ecuador, Nancy Lee, Gerenta General del FOMIN revisó los aspectos destacados de la conferencia y compartió su "top 10"  de los aspectos destacados en los paneles y otros eventos. Los temas incluyen avances en las finanzas digitales, plataformas de financiamiento colectivo y productos de ahorro.


Los tigres del Páramo: mejores que los tigres asiáticos

By Guest

Este blog pertenece a la serie de blogs en torno al XVII Foromic que se llevará a cabo este año en Guayaquil del 4 al 6 de noviembre. 

Lissy Vélez, Especialista del FOMIN en Ecuador.  

“Es importante  tener sueños y saber compartirlos. Las comunidades  se mueven cuando se satisfacen sus necesidades, en pocas palabras –no comen cuento”

Esta fue una de las cosas que  aprendí cuando sentados alrededor de la mesa en su cálida cocina, el Padre Antonio Polo  nos compartió generosamente algunas de sus experiencias en Salinas de Guaranda, ubicada sobre 3.550 msnm del páramo ecuatoriano. 

Preparing to enter new markets: what commercial banks can learn from successful entrepreneurs

By Tetsuro Narita

By Tetsuro Narita, Topic Lead of the Innovative Models for Small Business Finance Team of the Access to Finance Unit at the Multilateral Investment Fund, member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

At a recent workshop I attended in Nicaragua, we were shown a video of a “pulpero,” or small shop owner, testifying to the benefits of a new cell phone-based financial service for entrepreneurs. When asked to list his top three factors for success in business, he responded: (1) Give thanks to God; (2) Have dreams; and (3) Know exactly what you are doing. His first item seems to be good advice for most situations, and the second two factors are relevant not only to a humble pulpero, but to any business of any size, especially one seeking to tap into a new market segment.