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.

Add Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

“Add Impact” is the new rallying cry of the Global Impact Investing community, which concluded a two-day plenary meeting of its Steering Group in Lisbon, Portugal on July 8.  Championed by Sir Ronald Cohen, founder of Big Society Capital (BSC), which is hailed as the world's first social investment bank, the Global Impact Investing Steering Group is the heart and mind of a growing social investment movement bent on making impact investing mainstream.  Impact investments are those that intentionally target specific social objectives along with a financial return and measure the achievement of both. BSC formally launched in April 2012, using an estimated £400million in unclaimed assets left dormant in bank accounts for over 15 years and £200million from the UK’s largest high street banks.

Building a skilled workforce across Latin America and the Caribbean

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Another new area of strategic focus within the MIF is “Knowledge Economy”. Elizabeth Boggs-Davidsen, head of the new unit explains that “all of the new focus areas within the MIF involve the creation, use and adoption of technology to promote impact. The Knowledge Economy area is where we are really trying to work towards knowledge intensive sectors and build a much more skilled workforce across Latin America and the Caribbean.” 

NXTP Labs: Supporting Tech Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Susana Garcia-Robles

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Founded in 2011, NXTP Labs is an early-stage investment fund based out of Buenos Aires, featuring a regional accelerator program for LAC tech entrepreneurs modeled after Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator. The fund, like Y Combinator, seeks to accelerate companies which have the potential to reach the vaunted “unicorn” status ($1 billion valuation). However, NXTP Labs’ mission also includes nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America, therefore making it a perfect natural partner for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Drones: From tools of war to tools for social innovation

By Svante Persson

The evolution of information and communications technologies late last century enabled the development of new military weapons guided by onboard computers, like the Tomahawk cruise missile, which were first used during the 1991 Gulf War. These missiles were the precursors to what would become the first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), today known as drones, which are piloted by remote control or onboard computers and began doing military reconnaissance flights in the late 1990s.

Shifting toward the knowledge economy

By Norah Sullivan

The tech world is abuzz with advances in the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), robotics, and 3D printing. These headline-grabbing innovations are just part of the greater digital revolution that has been sweeping across the globe in the last decade.