MEDA joins with Haitian diaspora to unlock prosperity at a business conference in Boston, USA

Above: Attendees from the USAID-sponsored event: "Unlocking Diaspora Resources to Support the Growth of Haitian Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)"

Boston, MA – MEDA attended a conference with business professionals from the Haitian diaspora to learn about Haiti’s business climate, how Haitian entrepreneurs raise capital, and discuss how the diaspora can provide capital support and expertise for Haitian MSMEs. Called “Unlocking Diaspora Resources to Support the Growth of Haitian Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs),” it was held at the Boston Campus Center Building of the University of Massachusetts on December 1st. The event was part of the tenth anniversary of the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals and was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Speakers at the event included Steven Fondriest, Deputy Director, USAID; Jean-Marc Cuvilly, Haiti INVEST Project Lead, DAI; and Claude Clodomir, Chief of Party, MEDA/USAID ATTEINDRE.

Haiti’s formal private sector only employs a fraction of its total labor force. In comparison, most Haitians and MSMEs work in its large informal sector. In this sector, they lack access to credit and tailored financial products. They also face challenges accessing business advisory, workforce development services, and skilled human capital.

The ATTEINDRE (ATTAIN) project provides MSMEs with the tools to build thriving businesses. MEDA and USAID are working to provide targeted support for 30,000 MSMEs to become bankable enterprises. Through this project, these enterprises will be better able to grow, become more competitive, and generate jobs within trade areas across Haiti.

ATTEINDRE key facts

  • 10,000 MSMEs received access to tailored business advisory services
  • 4,500 MSMEs have gained USD $3.4 million in loans to support their livelihoods and to create and expand their businesses
  • 50% of ATTEINDRE’s partner business advisory services are women-led
  • 73% of MSMEs are women-owned

Jessica Villanueva, MEDA’s Sr. Director, Technical Areas of Practice, emphasized the private sector’s role in setting MSMEs up for success and prosperity in Haiti.

“The key ingredients for MSMEs business success are access to finance and technical training, supported by a strong business environment. MSMEs can build strong, stable businesses through the guidance and financial support of the Haitian diaspora. This can produce a multiplier effect for themselves, businesses, and communities.”

– Jessica Villanueva

MEDA is pleased to join the conversation about supporting entrepreneurs and finance professionals in Haiti to create jobs, grow businesses, and create economic opportunities for communities experiencing poverty. This project will be essential in supporting MEDA to fulfill its long-term strategic goal of creating or sustaining decent jobs for 500,000 people.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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