Women Forge a Future for Apartadó

March 03, 2014
In the Colombian town of Apartadó, women are shaping a new beginning after years of violence Bullets, poverty, and unemployment have taken a big toll on many locations in Colombia.  Take Apartadó, for example—a 167,000 people municipality in northwestern Colombia ravaged by a fierce, decades-old guerrilla war that has forced a large portion of its population to leave. Fully 60 percent of those who have chosen to stay barely scrape a living below the poverty line. 

Women entrepreneurs: too often trapped in the microenterprise ghetto

October 05, 2011
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.

Recycling: an opportunity for change in Colombia

February 14, 2011
Colombians change their life and transform their family’s financial situation through a recycling project supported by the IDB Óscar Restrepo never imagined that recycling garbage could change his life. Previously a construction worker, he now owns a small business that gives him a monthly income of US$490 a month; six years ago his monthly earnings were only US$40.

The Caribbean and the IDB at a Glance

September 27, 2010
The IDB member countries of the English-speaking Caribbean – The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – along with Dutch-speaking Suriname, are brought together by commerce, geography, history and traditions. Their economic situation and development challenges, however, may vary widely.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
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

February 26, 2009
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

December 26, 2007
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?

November 09, 2007
By Peter BateFrom Microenterprise Americas magazine, Fall 2007

When a water meter is worth more than a house

July 01, 2006
BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA — When a woman in a shantytown calls the water company to complain about a ruptured pipe that is flooding her street, what kind of response should she expect?

A home-grown solution for Latin America’s water crisis

March 01, 2006
By Luis Alberto Moreno*As delegates gathered at the IV World Water Forum in Mexico City earlier this month, many were asking whether the private sector still has a role to play in solving the critical sanitation problems of the developing world.