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“La Jacinta” a promising solar energy project

July 30, 2014

IDB will finance solar energy plant for US$ 41 million

By El Observador
(translated)

The Project of La Jacinta will have a capacity of 64.8 MW.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of US$ 40.85 million from its ordinary capital and US$25 million from the Canadian Climate Fund Private Sector of the Americas (C2F), administered by the IDB, to finance in Uruguay to the private sector of the construction, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic power plant and associated facilities.

Read the full article (Only in Spanish)

Read IDB press release

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From Boys to Men: How inclusive business in the Caribbean drives social and financial returns

July 23, 2014

How inclusive business in the Caribbean drives social and financial returns

by Stefan Wright y Cyinthia Hobbs

Sometimes one opportunity can change a person’s life. That seems to be the case for Mr. Keefa Harris of Kingston, Jamaica. Keefa received training in steel work under an IDB-funded Citizen Security & Justice Program. His interest and dedication set him apart as a star participant.

Seeking to engage viable business models in a way that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive, the IDB saw an opportunity to do more for Keefa and four of his classmates while providing financing to our client, Caribe Hospitality, for the construction of a Marriott Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston. As part of the construction of the 129 -room hotel, the IDB sought to embed a shared value approach to maximize both the development impact of this project and its financial returns. We developed a program to hire a group of at-risk youth to work in the construction and operation of the hotel.  Prime Construction agreed to hire five of these youth, including Keefa.

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Promoting sustainable agribusiness in Peru

July 23, 2014

DanPer received a loan of US$ 38.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank

By Semanaeconomica.com
(translated version)

The agroindustrial company DanPer Trujillo is the first Peruvian company in the sector to receive a loan from this international organization.

Oscar Alvitez, administration and finance manager of the company, explained that the loan has a repayment term of 10 years and a grace period of two and a half years.

Additionally, he reported that the total amount of US$ 20 million was allocated to convert short-term debt in the medium and long term, in order to improve the financial structure of the company. The rest will be used for investment in the agricultural sector (US$ 13.5 million), in particular to invest in crops such as asparagus and avocado, and for the acquisition of working capital (US$ 5 million).

Read the full article (only in Spanish)

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MOOCs: One of the Best Ideas for the Future of the Region?

July 23, 2014

MOOCs: One of the Best Ideas for the Future of the Region?

By Kristin Dacey
(Translated)

What do massive open online courses (MOOCs) have to do with private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean? The idea is to create and share free content for students to get ahead and have more access to information, having an impact not only on the students in a classroom but thousands of students participating through the internet. The MOOCs allow people interested in learning to take courses online on their own time, and learn about interesting topics, develop a new skill for work or learn to deal with new problems. Students may also take courses from accredited schools worldwide.

The number of MOOCs has mushroomed fast, according to the MOOC listUdacity was born out of Stanford University in 2011 — one of the first MOOCs to reach 160,000 students. NovoEd focuses on the interaction among students, promoting the creation of teams to work on projects worldwide. MOOC Campus proclaims a holistic approach. EDX includes courses in Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, etc. Coursera has over 6 million users, many of whom are from the region, with 600 courses 108 partner universities. Most top universities now also offer MOOCs online.

Read  full article (Only in Spanish)

BankingonSharedValue

New research: Banking on Shared Value

Banking on Shared Value

How banks profit by rethinking their purpose.

By Shared Value Initiative

In the wake of the financial crisis, banks have been under fire from all fronts. While the industry continues to struggle economically, society’s growing suspicion of banks’ intentions is resulting in tighter and more complex regulation. Meanwhile, competition is coming from unexpected places and clients are increasingly demanding financial products and services that deliver more than just financial returns. Faced with this confluence of factors, banks have responded with CSR and sustainability initiatives—but they haven’t been enough.

According to the new FSG report, “Banking on Shared Value,” banks are leaving value on the table. The potential to create shared value through retail, commercial and investment banking is enormous. And the banks that realize this potential will recast their role in society through a lens of mutual opportunity: an opportunity for banks to increase long-term profitability, and an opportunity for society to leverage the unique financial capabilities of banks to drive progress. This new approach will enable banks to capitalize on new opportunities and leverage their biggest asset—their core business—to address some of the world’s toughest challenges.

[...]

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Read how the IDB is putting shared value into practice

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Setting the Standard

July 18, 2014

Setting the Standard

COSTA RICA HYDROPOWER PROJECT MEETS ENERGY NEEDS AND PROTECTS BIODIVERSITY

Demand for electricity is increasing faster than ever, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, where an emerging middle class is moving into homes with modern conveniences ranging from hot showers to Internet access. The growing demand is forcing countries to make difficult choices about how to boost energy production without damaging the environment.

Costa Rica, for example, is building Central America’s largest hydropower plant on the Reventazón River, which flows from the central highlands to the Caribbean Sea. This is just the type of project with the potential to cause environmental damage. But with support from the IDB, Costa Rica is taking unprecedented steps to ensure that the project protects the environment and mitigates any effects on biodiversity.

The 306-megawatt plant will account for 10 percent of the country’s total installed capacity when it begins operation in early 2016, supplying about a fifth of the expected increase in electricity demand in the next decade. But the project requires construction of a 130-meter-high dam and an eight-kilometer-long reservoir that will flood 6.9 square kilometers of land, creating a partial barrier to animal migrations through the Barbilla Destierro Biological Subcorridor. This patchwork of pastures, farms, tree plantations, and forest forms part of what is known as the “Jaguar Corridor,” a critical pathway where jaguars can move unharmed in search of prey and mates from Mexico to Argentina. The plant will also will block the ability of native fish species to migrate along the length of the Reventazón, given its downstream location from four existing dams.

This is where the project’s environmental safeguards kick in. [...]

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Soccer and women: not just something men talk about

July 16, 2014

Soccer and women: not just something men talk about

By Cassia Peralta

Well done Germany! The German national football team is the winner of the FIFA 2014 World Cup that ended Sunday at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The next time a men’s soccer team holds the FIFA World Cup trophy will be four years from now in Russia. As Die Nationalmannschaft were congratulated by two female heads of state; Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and Germany’s Angela Merkel, another important event came to mind: the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada

One half of the talent base of the world population is made-up of women; therefore the world of soccer is enriched significantly by nurturing and utilizing its female talents. One of the stars of the women’s game is Brazilian Marta Vieira da Silva or Marta as she is commonly known. Marta was named the FIFA World Cup player of the year five times consecutively; a feat unmatched by any other player, in either the men’s and women’s game. Brazilian men have won player of the year honors on eight out of 18 occasions; Marta alone has brought Brazil five out of 13 awards in the women’s category, making her an exceptional example of the talent Brazil holds in soccer. And, just as Neymar enchanted us with his soccer moves during this World Cup, Marta ought to delight the world next year with her soccer skills, playing for the Brazil women’s national team in Canada.

Despite the talent in the women’s game, why is it that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is still not as popular as the men’s competition?

[...]

Read more

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Germany wins 2014 World Cup in energy efficient stadium

July 12, 2014

Germany wins 2014 World Cup in energy efficient stadium

By Katalyn Solymosi

While the football battle of the continents continues, 50 percent of this headline will be true no matter how many goals die Mannschaft scores against los Albiceleste this Sunday. The energy efficiency part that is. Maracanã, South America’s largest stadium and the host of the final world cup game, is making history again 60 years after its completion. The US green building council announced recently that the iconic building, among four other world cup stadiums in Brazil, achieved LEED certification due to several design upgrades that result in lower resource consumption.

The greening of these World Cup facilities is the perfect showcase for sustainable business opportunities in Brazil and beyond. World Cup sponsor Yingli Solar, which many of you might recognize from the ad banners during games, partnered with Light ESCO, EDF Consultoria and the State of Rio de Janeiro to equip Maracanã’s roof with 2,380 square meters of solar panels, generating enough energy to power 240 homes and avoiding 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The Maracanã Solar project was developed by the same company that designed the new roof structure, German SBP.

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Gobierno Corporativo: ¿Media naranja o medio limón?

8 de Julio de 2014

Gobierno Corporativo: ¿Media naranja o medio limón?

Por Adriana M. Ferreira

Al igual que en las relaciones de pareja, Compañía y Gobierno Corporativo pueden crear la unión de dos medias naranjas, asegurando mayor competitividad, transparencia y acceso a mercados de financiación internacionales para la compañía, y un consecuente incremento del atractivo de inversores al país. Y si bien tal cosa como el matrimonio perfecto no existe, cuando se trata de la empresa familiar, el gobierno corporativo es el corazón que asegura el latir armonioso de sus partes, y que de ser manejado pobremente, puede resultar en el desafortunado encuentro del medio limón: ácido, incómodo y muy difícil de digerir.

Lea artículo completo (Disponible solo en castellano)