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.

Happy Women's Day: What makes women happy?

By Georg Neumann


The day after a very successful closing event for a MIF-funded project to strengthen women entrepreneurs, held last Friday in Lima, Peru, I found myself browsing through a major Peruvian newspaper over a delicious ceviche at the airport, waiting to fly back to Washington. It was March 8thInternational  Women’s Day, and the paper featured commemorated the day with dedicated articles, columns, a photo essay and coverage of several events that had taken place the day before. While the articles were inspiring in many ways, recognizing the need to strengthen gender equality and support women entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, a four page series of Women’s Day ads for discounts on mixers and other household goods caught my eye. They were not very different from the now dusty ads of smiling housewives in the 1950's.

Smart Aid and the MIF

By Georg Neumann

In 2013, the MIF received the highest SmartAid score awarded to date from CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor). SmartAid is an index that measures the effectiveness of institutions that fund financial inclusion projects. In this video, MIF General Manager Nancy Lee, Chief of the Access to Finance Unit Tomas Miller, and Senior Specialist Sergio Navajas talk about the experience of going through the SmartAid process and how the lessons learned will benefit the MIF going forward.

Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla congratulates the MIF

By Georg Neumann

Our specialist in Costa Rica, Betsy Murray, captured this spontaneous tribute to the MIF by Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, at the inauguration of two early childhood development centers on January 9. The centers are operated by Fundación Dehvi with the support of a MIF project. This was the first milestone of the project, which was approved in February 2013.  

WeXchange: What will you do differently come Monday morning?

By Georg Neumann

Still a little tired from my morning flight, I am very excited about the MIF’s first ever pitching conference, WeXchange, held in Miami this week with over 50 women entrepreneurs – and an equal number of investors.

I hope they were energized by the sessions, speakers, and mentoring sessions. I myself was impressed by the creativity and dynamism of these women and their business ideas, led of course by the winner of our pitching competition, Angela Cois, whose start-up Last Room makes last minute hotel reservations really easy. But the runners-up were also impressive: Cecilia Calderon of Chile-based DentiDesk, Sylvia Chebi of Greentizen, Uruguay; Ana Hornstein of Fotter, Argentina; Montse Piquer of Nidmi, Spain; and Yanina Baglieri of DineroTaxi, Argentina, and all the other businesswomen I talked to over the couple of days. To help you come back Monday morning ready to take on your next big idea, I wanted to briefly put together some of the recommendations.

Redes inteligentes en México: ¿Oportunidad de acceso a eficiencia energética y energía limpia?

By Georg Neumann

Por Alma Garcia, Unidad de Acceso a Servicios Básicos y Crecimiento Verde

En México como en el mundo, los sistemas eléctricos fueron diseñados basados en la idea de que grandes centrales principalmente alimentadas por combustibles fósiles generarían la mayor parte de la energía eléctrica necesaria para cubrir las necesidades de la población. Sin embargo más de 130 años han pasado desde que la primera central termoeléctrica fue instalada en Guanajuato, México; durante este tiempo y en especial durante los últimos años, el entorno ha cambiado y ahora nos enfrentamos ante la necesidad de integrar una mayor proporción de energías renovables tanto a gran escala como por generación distribuida con la finalidad de transitar hacia una matriz energética de bajo carbono que contribuya a la mitigación de las emisiones de GEI y con ello del cambio climático. De acuerdo a la Estrategia Nacional para la Transición Energética y el Aprovechamiento Sustentable de la Energía, la meta para el año 2024 es contar con un 35% de participación de tecnologías limpias en el parque de generación nacional.