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.

Love, rivalry, drama... and how to make a budget? Telenovelas as a source of financial education


Will Vicky be able to make more money now that her husband has left his job? Will Miriam be able to fulfill her dream of owning her own house? What about Vicky’s pregnant teenage sister? How will a new baby affect the household? And who, after all, is the “man” in Cambodia?  These and other questions captivated a full house at the Foromic panel on using non-traditional media techniques for training. Non-traditional it was, with discussions of telenovelas (soap operas) and reality TV shows, HIV-AIDS, financial literacy and savings accounts, child trafficking and women’s and men’s household roles. This panel proved how financial, academic, and health institutions are using soaps for more than daytime dithering. In fact, some of the LAC region’s leading microfinance organizations are proving that combining such seemingly frivolous fare with important messages can be an effective and sustainable vehicle for providing training and achieving behavioral changes. 

Plantain chips in Barbados: the winners of a Caribbean Microentrepreneurship Award

Por Winsome Leslie

The trip to Barbados was Javier Basto’s first time traveling outside of Belize. In his luggage, he had two big boxes filled with bags of plantain chips and churros.

Javier Basto, owner of Basto & Sons Plantain Chips, crossed the Caribbean Sea to Bridgetown to receive the award for Excellence in Microentrepreneurship, one of two prizes for the first Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. Marcus James, founder and owner of Access Financial Services in Jamaica was presented with the award for Excellence in Microfinance. 

By Ryan Tang

El Panorama de los microseguros en América Latina y el Caribe

Por Guest

El panorama de los microseguros en América Latina y el Caribe se presentó la semana pasada durante el Forito sobre microseguros, evento paralelo a la edición XV de FOROMIC, el cual tuvo lugar en Bridgetown, Barbados. Este estudio fue comisionado por el FOMIN, con apoyo de Citi Foundation y Munich Re Foundation; y fue llevado a cabo por el Microinsurance Centre. Los resultados de este estudio panorámico se usarán como línea de base y punto de referencia para el mejoramiento de la estrategia de microseguros del FOMIN. 

Preparado por Michael J. McCord, presidente de MicroInsurance Centre. 

English version

Foromic Barbados 2012: Hacia una mayor penetración de las microfinanzas en la región

Por Smeldy Ramirez

El pasado 3 de octubre concluyó el décimo quinto Foro de la Microempresa (FOROMIC). Colmado de interesantes paneles, el evento sirvió una vez más para presentar las nuevas tendencias y tecnologías, específicamente el diseño de una plataforma electrónica para la transacción de facturas u órdenes de compra, y el diseño de una metodología para la calificación de riesgo en personas sin historial de crédito sirvieron de ejemplo para mostrar cómo lograr una mayor penetración de las microfinanzas en la región. Esta vez el foro se organizó combinando la exuberante belleza de la ciudad de Bridgetown con la calidez de su gente, quienes desde la llegada hasta la salida de los participantes, se ocuparon de impregnar en la mente de estos, las razones del porqué Barbados es una de las islas de las Antillas Menores con mayor número de visitantes.

Greening the blue seas of Barbados

Por Elizabeth Terry

I had always heard about how clear and vibrant the Caribbean waters are, but until I came to Barbados this week I never had a chance to see for myself. Everything they say is true! I could spend hours staring out at the different shades of turquoise, sapphire and lapis—and hope to once my conference duties end...

The beautiful Caribbean is also the lifeblood of Barbados and its sister islands. The local economy depends on tourists coming to swim, surf, sail and dive. Fishermen set out early every morning to catch the fish that will feed not only hungry tourists, but also their own neighbors and families. If these islands are to continue to thrive, the sea must stay healthy.