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.

Systematic sustainability is the goal of new fair-trade initiative

By Alejandro Escobar A.

It used to be that coffee and bananas were among the few products that carried a fair trade label, and made people feel good about their purchases during trips to the local supermarket. Nowadays, there are a vast number of products with some kind of standard or certification that guarantees a fair price, ensures that organic standards were met during production, or at least, says where it was grown. You can look for these labels now on just about every product you buy: fish, strawberries, quinoa, and even milk. 

Some say bank branches are doomed; is traditional banking on its way out?

By Maria Luisa Hayem

In my recent visits to two branches of two major banks in the United States, I witnessed the discontent of bank clients waiting to be served by a single teller. The rest of the teller windows seemed abandoned.

Social entrepreneurship enters the mainstream

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Trends is on vacation this week. This post ran previously on our blog.  

Once a niche concept at the intersection of business and development, “social entrepreneurship” is now mainstream. A social entrepreneur, according to Ashoka founder Bill Draper, who coined the term in 1980, is a person with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. A social enterprise is one that deliberately expands access to goods, services, income, and employment opportunities for vulnerable populations as part of its core business while seeking return on investment. Social entrepreneurship is increasingly appealing to people, and the idea of using a MBA degree to do good while doing well has grown in popularity on campuses and in businesses around the globe.

A big step toward the first social impact bond in the developing world

By Zachary Levey

Over the last decade, Latin America and the Caribbean have seen unprecedented development gains. Over 60 million people escaped poverty and over 100 million people entered into the middle class. For the first time in the history of the region, there are more people in the middle class than in poverty.

Local Economic Development: A valid approach to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals

By Guest

By Monica Romis and Monica Muñoz*

With the opening message from the Pope and the participation of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Third World Forum of Local Economic Development ended on Friday, October 16, after four days of intense discussions and debates. The Forum, co-organized by the City of Turin, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Andalusian Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI), Organization of United Regions (ORU FOGAR), Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE), International Labor Organization (ILO) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), included 3 plenary sessions, 29 panels, 26 workshops, an Arena space dedicated to the presentation of best practices and ongoing initiatives, along with other initiatives organized in parallel to the Forum’s celebration