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.

Get Up, Start Up: Local and global partners help launch young entrepreneurs in Jamaica

By Winsome Leslie


Recently, I spent a few hours in a conference room with 60 young tech entrepreneurs in downtown Kingston.  Their excitement was palpable.  This was the final day of the Start-Up Jamaica boot camp, led by coaches from Oasis500, a Jordanian company that provides entrepreneurship training, business incubation, mentoring, and seed funding to help turn new tech ideas into startups.  Oasis500 is one of the key partners supporting Start-Up Jamaica, the first Jamaican accelerator focusing on technology.  This initiative is a unique public-private sector partnership, bringing together the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the Jamaica National Building Society, LIME Jamaica (formerly Cable and Wireless), Oasis500, the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica, and Caribbean Export Development Agency. Start-Up Jamaica is an important step in providing support to fledgling companies, but it is also viewed by the partners as much more: a key part of positioning the country to be an entrepreneurship and innovation hub in the Caribbean.

Is preschool education the secret to a more prosperous region?

By Svante Persson

Pic Blog

Investing in preschool is actually more profitable than investing in the stock market. The estimated return (per dollar of cost) for high quality early childhood education is in excess of 10% (see link).  In comparison, over the last 20 years the stock market’s S&P 500 index had an average annual return of less than 7.8% per year (see link). Increasing public investment in preschool education can substantially benefit society at large and could help to address LAC’s long-term skills challenge and chronic income inequality. Poor children who fail to achieve their full academic potential are more likely to enter adulthood without the skills necessary to develop into highly productive members of society able to compete effectively in a more competitive global labor market.


A country is hit by the entrepreneurial bug and start-up culture

By Susana Garcia-Robles


September 9th:  Arriving at my destination to speak at a Venture Capital conference sponsored by a local government agency.

September 10th and 12th: Attending the inauguration of the country’s Start-Up program and meeting the women behind that initiative and Startup Weekend. Listening to the manager of a prestigious private sector incubator. 

El modelo de Mesas de Competitividad se presenta en la Reunión de la Red Interamericana de Competitividad

By Natalia Laguyas

Las Mesas de Competitividad son un modelo efectivo de Desarrollo Económico Local que provee un espacio para articular e integrar actores públicos y privados para mejorar la competitividad en un país.

Microfinanzas, pequeños agricultores y cambio climático ¿Cuál es la relación?

By Alma García

La Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), estima que por efectos de cambio climático, el PIB agrícola se reducirá en algunos países de América Latina y el Caribe entre 3% y 17% hacia fines de siglo. Pero no hay que esperar 100 años, el cambio climático en  la región a es una realidad. Las lluvias en el sureste sudamericano se han visto incrementadas, causando inundaciones y erosión; en el oeste de Centroamérica y el suroeste de Sudamérica ha disminuido el nivel de precipitaciones y aumentado las sequías; y los glaciares de los Andes tropicales se reducen.