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.

Taking psychometrics a step further

By Winsome Leslie

Do the belief, attitudes, and personality of business owners or managers matter in determining the probability of business success and the creditworthiness of the enterprise? And if so, could this “psychological capital” be leveraged as a predictive tool not only for credit appraisal decisions, but also to provide broader support to small businesses? Pioneering work done in Jamaica suggests that it could. 

Jumpstarting sustainable microfinance in the Bahamas

By Winsome Leslie

The English-speaking Caribbean has its own particular brand of microfinance.

Building Blocks to Provide Basic Services in Haiti: Targeting, Partnerships, and Flexibility

By Winsome Leslie

It is widely accepted that access to basic services is a key aspect of improving the lives of individuals at the base of the economic pyramid in any country. Unfortunately, basic services in Haiti are an outlier in two respects when compared with the rest of the Americas.

Top down + bottom up = effective in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

Five years after the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, there are encouraging signs of economic activity. In construction, two international chains, Best Western and Marriott, have opened hotels in Port-au-Prince in the last two years. Both have committed to hiring and training Haitian staff at all levels and to sourcing goods and services locally. Haitians in the diaspora are investing in new and existing businesses. Meanwhile, the Haitian government is keen on establishing meaningful partnerships with aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations to revitalize the country’s agriculture sector, with the goals of replacing foreign imports with domestic production and achieving better food security.

Local input, strategic partners, lessons learned inform future work in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

When the sun dawned on Haiti on January 11th, 2010, a day after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country, the outlook was bleak. Hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, families, or friends, as well as their homes. While the earthquake has had many deep and lasting repercussions, in the years since then, there have been many promising developments. They become evident during conversations with Haitian entrepreneurs these days.