Lucia Sanchez (SME Initiative Director, IPA) traveled to Mexico in November to meet with stakeholders in the SME sector. Her meetings included a conversation with Mexico’s Ministry of Economy, the National Institute of Entrepreneurship (INADEM), and Unidad de Productividad Económica to explore ideas for an evaluation of SME support services provided through the National Entrepreneurship Fund. They also discussed evaluating a new program that provides business funding and training to beneficiaries of the Prospera cash transfer program who have started small businesses. Lucia also met with iLab, an innovation hub that provides training, incubation, and acceleration services to entrepreneurs, to discuss a possible evaluation of a program being developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Transportation.
While in Mexico, Lucia and J-PAL LAC co-organized a presentation of the SME Initiative to policymakers from the Mexican government who are leading the new productivity agenda under the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, and the General Coordination of Prospera, Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program. IPA and J-PAL LAC presented existing evidence, the research focus of the SME Initiative, and explored opportunities for collaboration.