Above: Port-au-Prince (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A group of small businesses in Haiti are taking their show on the road as part of the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investment programme.
The initiative, which is funded by USAID and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation, involves a series of investment events and conferences in the US, Canada and the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
The first event was held last week at Columbia University in New York, with events planned in eight additional cities.
PADF is working on the project with the US-based Haitian Hometown Association Resource Group, which links 350 Haitian diaspora groups around the globe.
The events are part of LEAD’s Business Plan Competition, which provides matching grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 for business plans “found to best support the development of SMEs and increase employment in Haiti,” according to the PADF.
LEAD’s small business competition launched its second round last month.
The Columbia University event took place March 16, with featured speakers including Philippe St Cyr, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti and Jerry Charles, a diaspora investor in Haiti.
PADF is a non-profit arm of the Organization of American States.