Trends

The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

Our complete list of blogs can be found here.

What would you do with $2.2 trillion dollars?

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

By Elizabeth  Boggs Davidsen and Charmain Love

The groundswell of businesses that want to be more purposeful and work alongside government and civil society organizations means that we should dream bigger about how to solve some of the biggest challenges the world faces today. And maybe money isn’t an excuse anymore, given a report by the New York Times (in the United States) and research by Grant Thornton (in the United Kingdom), showing that the balance sheets of companies in these two countries alone have $2.2 trillion in cash waiting to be used. 

The timing is right for impact investing in Latin America

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

There is increasing momentum behind impact investing—the global movement of investors, development agencies, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists working to realize financial, social, and environmental gains.

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.

A New Playbook for Companies Venturing for Impact

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

The Paris-based food products company Danone, the Spanish-based bank BBVA, and the British utility company Centrica have something important in common. Each of these large multinationals has figured out effective ways to bring together its core financial, human, and technological strengths, along with massive networks, to provide business support to social entrepreneurs. Innovation and investment teams within large companies are coming together to design strategies that allow their businesses to explore and experiment with new models that are intentionally trying to create positive returns to the communities where they operate.  This is in part due to complex macro-economic trends – climate change, big data, mass urbanization – that require strategic considerations and introduce greater levels of uncertainty in operations. It is also in order to appeal to the values ofmillennials, who companies like Danone, BBVA and Centrica employ and hope to retain, as well as “hipster” consumers who are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.

Beyond the land of the unicorns

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

When most people hear the word “unicorn,” images of a majestic white horse with a glistening, magical horn spring to mind. However, in business jargon, unicorns refer to privately held startups with market valuations of more than $1 billion—think Uber, Snapchat, and Airbnb—which operate across a range of sectors and are united in using technology as the basis of their business model.

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