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.

What would you do with $2.2 trillion dollars?

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

By Elizabeth  Boggs Davidsen and Charmain Love

The groundswell of businesses that want to be more purposeful and work alongside government and civil society organizations means that we should dream bigger about how to solve some of the biggest challenges the world faces today. And maybe money isn’t an excuse anymore, given a report by the New York Times (in the United States) and research by Grant Thornton (in the United Kingdom), showing that the balance sheets of companies in these two countries alone have $2.2 trillion in cash waiting to be used. 

The development mutants are coming … and we care

By Marcelo Cabrol

Mutants are organisms that mutate due to a change in their composition or structure. In the development industry, we are starting to recognize mutants that slowly, but inexorably, are beginning to compete in the space historically reserved for international financial institutions. How can we understand these changes? And how can we use these mutants to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean?

How women-led entrepreneurship can crush social and economic exclusion

By Brigit Helms

This is Paloma. Paloma is an 11-year-old Guatemalan girl. And she is my daughter. Honestly, I'm afraid for her future.
Michelle Obama told us, "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."

The impressive impact of village banking in Paraguay

By Lorena Rios

The lower-middle-income country of Paraguay happens to be one of the most profitable markets in the world for banks, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. But 71% of Paraguayans have no bank account, and 42% do not use formal financial products. Of the country’s 16 banks and 12 financial institutions that are regulated by the Superintendent of Banks, only one—plus one nonprofit organization—are directly working on rural microfinance programs for poor areas of the country.  And they are producing some impressive results with a microcredit approach called village banking.

“Trancón, Embotellamiento, Atolladero, Trancadera”: Para el mismo mal varios nombres y para un gran problema pequeñas soluciones

By Claudia Gutierrez

Le podemos poner diferentes nombres pero todos lo sentimos y vivimos igual, la congestión vehicular es uno de los problemas más duros y visibles de nuestras ciudades. El crecimiento poblacional que ha tenido América Latina en los últimos años es sorprendente: hoy somos 625 millones de personas y el 80% vive en ciudades. Lastimosamente nuestras ciudades han crecido sin ninguna planificación y el modelo de desarrollo urbano que ha primado se conoce como 3D (distante, disperso y desconectado). Las ciudades han crecido hacia sus periferias alejadas del centro y desconectadas entre ellas, trayendo grandes problemas