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.

Getting Smart at the Sandpit

By Brigit Helms

By Brigit Helms and Maggie Dugan

The large Mexican city of Guadalajara is a thriving commercial center and home to 1.5 million people. But nearly 24,000 homes in Guadalajara have only a dirt floor and lack access to indoor plumbing and sanitation services. To tackle the challenge of people living without access to basic services in a large metropolitan area, 25 experts from different professions assembled a few months ago for a 5-day immersive workshop called a “Sandpit,” held in the community center in Guadalajara’s neighborhood of Zapopan.

How women-led entrepreneurship can crush social and economic exclusion

By Brigit Helms

This is Paloma. Paloma is an 11-year-old Guatemalan girl. And she is my daughter. Honestly, I'm afraid for her future.
Michelle Obama told us, "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."

The sharing economy can transform economic development

By Brigit Helms

Wall Street Daily estimated that in 2015, the sharing economy created 60,000 jobs in the United States and attracted a total of $15 billion in financing. Time magazine ranked it among the 10 ideas that will change the world, while PwC estimates that just five sectors of the collaborative economy could generate $335 billion in revenue for 2025. So if the sharing economy is here to stay, how it can affect the development of emerging economies?

The tectonic forces shaping the businesses of the future

By Brigit Helms

A transformational movement is challenging the view that businesses exist primarily to maximize shareholder value. A growing number of businesses are keen to play a larger role in society, not simply by acting “responsibly,” but also by becoming a true “force for good.” They are harnessing the power of markets, entrepreneurship, and investment capital to tackle complex social problems in areas such as crime, education, health care, and clean energy.

Can the private sector save development?

By Brigit Helms

It would be difficult to imagine a bigger sea change in thinking and practice about the private sector’s role in international economic development than what we’ve witnessed these past 12 months: from the financing-for-development conference in April that talked about moving from billions to trillions of dollars by crowding in private-sector financial resources, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September, to the United Nations-led climate change negotiations (COP21) in Paris that concluded in December, and finally to conversations about the technology-driven 4th Industrial Revolution ‎at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.