3IM: Initiative for Inclusive Investment in Mexico

The RIN, in collaboration with the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, 17 Asset Management, and Dalberg are developing the Initiative for Inclusive Investment in Mexico (3IM). 3IM is a new cross-sector, cross-border partnership that will attract long-term strategic growth capital for investments in Mexico through the inclusion of displaced people in economic development projects. 

The assessment will draw upon RIN’s “Refugee & Migration Lens,” to help segment, define and structure the market and which classifies six different types of investments that benefit forcibly-displaced people: refugee-owned businesses; refugee-led businesses; projects supporting refugees or host communities (e.g., through infrastructure, employment, and goods and services); and lending instruments and funds, both investing in the aforementioned categories. 

Over the long-term, 3IM will foster new venture creation and the expansion of employment, workforce development, and skills-matching to create thousands of jobs and enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico while also reducing unemployment and displacement. This initiative’s efforts will help improve regional stability by supporting businesses and advancing economic development in Mexico, with a particular focus on areas with high displaced populations such as southern Mexico and the northern frontier states.

3IM takes shape during a critical period now that displacement has become an increasingly pressing challenge in Mexico, which hosts the greatest number of refugees and internally displaced people in the region. Roughly half a million forcibly displaced people cross into Mexico every year – the majority of whom originate in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. An additional 800,000 Mexican citizens who have returned from the U.S. are now concentrated in the northern states. Migrants face short- and long-term challenges ranging from homelessness and poverty to restrictive social and legal rules that hinder economic opportunity. Meanwhile, the arrival of displaced people not only exacerbates existing challenges in Mexico but also sparks new tensions.

3IM was created in recognition that – despite negative perceptions surrounding migration – data show that forcibly displaced people are hard-working, entrepreneurial, employable, and creditworthy. In the US, for example, refugees have the highest rate of entrepreneurship (13%) and immigrant-owned businesses employ over 8 million Americans. Indeed, 44% of Fortune 500 companies as of 2018 were founded by immigrants or their children. With this in mind, 3IM’s investment in refugees aims to generate returns that extend far beyond social and economic benefits to refugees themselves. These investments will significantly impact Mexican host communities, promoting prosperity for the larger community.