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.

WeXchange conference empowers Latin American women entrepreneurs

By Susana Garcia-Robles

WeXchange, a conference focused on women entrepreneurs in Latin America, is slated for Dec. 11-12 in Miami. This blog has been cross-posted from the Knight Foundation who supports the conference to connect entrepreneurs and foster the exchange of innovative ideas. In Latin America, women entrepreneurs represent a low percentage of the business community, in some places as low as 6 percent. Their low numbers mean they face more challenges than men in the region, mostly due to the lack of strong networks.

Preparing to enter new markets: what commercial banks can learn from successful entrepreneurs

By Tetsuro Narita

By Tetsuro Narita, Topic Lead of the Innovative Models for Small Business Finance Team of the Access to Finance Unit at the Multilateral Investment Fund, member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

At a recent workshop I attended in Nicaragua, we were shown a video of a “pulpero,” or small shop owner, testifying to the benefits of a new cell phone-based financial service for entrepreneurs. When asked to list his top three factors for success in business, he responded: (1) Give thanks to God; (2) Have dreams; and (3) Know exactly what you are doing. His first item seems to be good advice for most situations, and the second two factors are relevant not only to a humble pulpero, but to any business of any size, especially one seeking to tap into a new market segment.

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.

Guatemala: Access to Health in Rural Areas

By Guest

By Andrés Martínez, Director of the EHAS Foundation and member of the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM)

The department of Alta Verazpaz in Guatemala has a population of close to 1.2 million, of which 78% live in rural areas and 89% belong to indigenous communities (mostly Q’eqchi’, but Poqomchi' as well). In this department only one third of births are attended by healthcare personnel and two thirds of children are affected by chronic malnutrition. This, along with the difficulty of accessing the healthcare system and other cultural factors, leads to maternal and child mortality rates in the region being amongst the highest in Latin America, with an estimated 268 women dying for every 100,000 live births and a mortality rate of 1 out of 50 for children under 5 years old.

Basic Services: New models for the private sector

By Celia Bedoya del Olmo

Versión en español

Innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships and business models for improving access to basic services are emerging globally. Poor and vulnerable households need electricity, water, sanitation, health and education in order to be healthy and productive. In recent decades, there have been significant improvements in Latin America and the Caribbean, but the “last mile”— communities that are extremely isolated by distance, poverty, or other factors—still lacks sustainable, affordable and quality services. More than ever, creative and locally-adapted solutions for addressing poverty based on alliances between actors can help close the access gap.