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.

Empowering Rural Women in Agriculture

By Nancy Lee, General Manager

Project Results: Interfisa Financiera in Paraguay percentage of women rural clients

Empowering rural women as farmers, entrepreneurs, and leaders throughout the agricultural value chain is a topic with exceptional importance for agricultural productivity, fighting poverty, and food security.

An eye-opening visit to an unusual eyeglass store

By Guest

Versión en Español

By Ignacio Fernandez Admetlla 

Since opening its first eyeglasses store in 2012, Ver de Verdad has expanded to a network of 21 stores across four cities in Mexico and won the National Award for Quality from the Secretary of the Economy in 2013. With support from the MIF-OMJ Accelerator Facility, in September the company launched the country’s first Mobile Diagnostic Center (MDC), offering affordable eyeglasses to low-income rural and peri-urban communities in the outskirts of Culiacán. The MIF project design team recently had the chance to accompany the MCD to see for ourselves the services it provides.

WeXchange returns to Miami to promote women’s high-growth entrepreneurship

By Susana Garcia-Robles

So much of the “conventional wisdom” about women entrepreneurs is just not true. Women do have a tolerance for risk. Women are highly motivated to start their own businesses. Women are starting businesses in high-tech fields. Women’s businesses are just as successful as men’s—under comparable conditions.

That’s an important caveat, because all too often, women don’t face the same conditions that men do. They have less access to smart capital. Their circles of advisers and investors are much smaller. They encounter social stigma about women’s roles related to that conventional wisdom I mentioned before.

WeXchange pitch competition goes into the second round

By Georg Neumann

As it was last year, the pitch competition, organized with our partner NXTPLabs, will be the highlight of WeXchange, the premier forum for kickstarting women entrepreneurs who work in Latin America and the Caribbean. We’ve now reached the first milestone: From more than 70 applicants from 15 countries, we’ve selected a list of 12 semifinalists.

Here’s the list of these 12 dynamic women entrepreneurs and their startups.

Scaling Corporate Social Enterprise

By Claudio Cortellese

While it is easier to start a social enterprise today than it was 10 years ago, thanks to more options for networking, support services, and raising funds, it is still very challenging for social enterprises to scale their operations and impact. At the same time, social intrapreneurs – employees within corporations who develop practical solutions to social or environmental challenges– face constraints to scaling their concepts both inside and outside the company. Unlocking scale requires new collaboration between businesses, governments, academia, specialized consulting firms, impact investors, and civil society to establish a robust ecosystem.

The inaugural Scaling Corporate Social Enterprise Conference taking place in Santiago, Chile on November 20-21 is a first step towards bringing these different ecosystem actors together in the Latin American context in order to identify the barriers to scaling corporate social ventures and develop a common agenda to overcome them.