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.

Transparency in microfinance: How ratings can support the development of a market

By Sergio Navajas

Over the last decade, the microfinance industry in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown dramatically. One of the important building blocks of this development has been the industry’s push for transparency, as provided by ratings. Ratings have been important to facilitating funding, particularly from international investors; for providing benchmarks for use by microfinance institutions (MFIs); and  for providing information to regulators and donors. This is why the MIF has been working with microfinance ratings since the late 1990s, and it has been a recurrent issue at our yearly industry event, Foromic. he MIF’s experience in microfinance ratings has recently been assessed by an independent consultant, here are some of the conclusions.

Contribuyendo a la Competitividad de Guatemala desde el Desarrollo Local

By Natalia Laguyas

Superando sus objetivos, concluyó en abril 2014 el Proyecto “Apoyo a la Competitividad de la Región Suroccidental de Guatemala”. Este proyecto que benefició directamente a casi 1.500 personas y a otras 3.600 por medio de acciones de transferencia de conocimiento, se desarrolló en la Región VI de Guatemala (departamentos de Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Sololá, Suchitepéquez y Totonicapán). Para su desarrollo contó con el liderazgo de la Red Nacional de Grupos Gestores-RNGG y el apoyo técnico y financiero del Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones-FOMIN y el Fondo Fiduciario Italiano para la Competitividad Regional.

Private sector finance for the communities most impacted by climate change

By Carrie McKellogg


To date, many of the important discussions about climate change have focused on national level challenges - strengthening national government departments, building climate smart infrastructure, setting national GHG emissions targets - which are critical given the magnitude of the climate challenge. But here at the MIF we view climate change from the lens of our clients: small firms and farms, and poor and low income families. Our challenge is to translate global and national conversations to the individual communities by providing training and finance for clean and efficient energy, making communities more resilient and identifying new business opportunities. 

Is high-growth entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean driven by innovation?

By Susana Garcia-Robles


Click image to enlarge 

The Index of Systemic Conditions for Dynamic entrepreneurship, developed by PRODEM with the support of the MIF and led by Hugo Kantis, comes at a very timely moment, when conditions for increasing dynamic entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean have greatly improved. Today, we have a region that’s stronger in its economies and Venture Capital ecosystems. Poverty has decreased, the middle class has expanded. The region was resilient to the otherwise global great recession. This performance finally got the attention of overseas investors who began to flock to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and, to a lesser extent, other countries. Governments are now aware of the need to move away from factor or efficiency driven economies to become innovation economies. The region’s growing young population has an appetite for innovation.

Remittances and Savings: Where’s the On-Ramp?

By Rebecca Rouse


This blog post was originally posted In the ProSavings blog. Click here to read the Spanish version.

We talk about remittances as being the perfect on-ramp for savings, in part because recipients can choose to move part of their electronic funds to a savings account before the remittance becomes cash, creating opportunities to avoid impulse spending and automate behaviors (see my blog post on defaults from last spring).  But what happens to the equation when the remittance sender is only transacting in cash?