Women entrepreneurs: too often trapped in the microenterprise ghetto

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 03:00
Innovative approaches can boost women’s economic presence among small business owners in Latin America and the Caribbean Over the past three decades, women in Latin America and the Caribbean have dramatically increased their role in the workforce. Currently, about half of women in the region are economically active, more than double the level in the 1970s. They have been elected presidents of several Latin American countries and often dominate the microenterprise and microfinance sector, providing an important contribution to regional economies.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 03:00
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

Venture capital for low-income markets

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 03:00
Investing in housing, healthcare, education, basic utilities and nutrition can not only fulfill a social mission, but it can also be a profitable business venture. This is the concept of IGNIA Fund, which will channel venture capital resources to fund commercially viable growth companies serving the “base of the pyramid,” those persons in Latin America and the Caribbean earning less than $3,260 a year. The IGNIA Fund selects projects with the potential to be expanded on a larger scale, thereby increasing the social and economic impact.

Money Isn’t Everything

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 03:00
Most microentrepreneurs require financing to expand their businesses, but many of them also require training, says Maria Emma Jaramillo, head of the Business Development Unit of Colombia’s Fundación Carvajal. The problem is, the training has seldom been available to them. So Jaramillo’s unit created Centers for Productive Development, through which “we prepare microentrepreneurs to be more competitive,” she says.

Governments in microfinance: threat or opportunity?

Friday, November 9, 2007 - 03:00
By Peter BateFrom Microenterprise Americas magazine, Fall 2007

A model for development

Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 03:00
By Paul Constance   BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA—The staff of La Comercializadora S.A. know a good local product when they see one. For five years, this small company in Barranquilla, Colombia, has provided product design, marketing and distribution services to microentrepreneurs in the country's Atlantic coast region. The collaboration has produced a collection of ready-to-wear clothing and home furnishings sold in upscale stores in Colombia and abroad.

Latin America moves ahead despite external threats

Monday, October 31, 2005 - 03:00
Many fear the possibility of interest rate hikes and a global recession if the “Chinese addiction” to buying dollars comes to an end, expressed the IDB Chief Economist, Guillermo Calvo. But the seven largest economies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, also known as the LAC-7) are currently growing fast. Stock prices went up 174% in the past two years, bank credit and foreign investment are increasing, and commodity prices have also enjoyed a boost.

Basel II standards tailored to microfinance

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 03:00
Once Basel II, an international agreement on banking regulation and supervision, is implemented, financial institutions in the signatory countries will have to increase their minimum capital requirements. Although many microfinance institutions are unregulated and therefore not required to meet any standards, banks and other financial institutions that provide microfinance may eventually have to operate under a regulatory system that includes the Basel II standards.

The double-edged sword of currency mismatches

Thursday, November 4, 2004 - 03:00
Doing business in dollars has proved to be risky many times over in Latin America. When the price of the dollar goes up, local exporting companies increase their income and therefore try to export more. But that same exchange rate depreciation spells trouble to all companies indebted in dollars, and big trouble to the ones who owe money in dollars and have income in local currency.

Financial services for the poor

Friday, September 10, 2004 - 03:00
Latin American and Caribbean microfinance institutions need to get involved in the remittances business, so they will provide financial services to millions of new low-income clients, said several experts on the eve of the opening of the Inter-American Microenterprise Forum in Cartagena, Colombia.