How partnerships drive prosperity for local Haitian businesses

Above: Entrepreneur clients learning business skills through the ATTEINDRE project

An uphill struggle to prosper

Haitian entrepreneurs have the raw talent and ambition to create businesses. But in Haiti, they face an uphill struggle. The cost of borrowing is high. The business development services provided are not tailored to the needs of MSMEs. MSMEs also find hiring a trained and skilled labor force difficult due to few educational opportunities, and many skilled professionals have emigrated to other countries. Meanwhile, these challenges are especially acute for women and youth entrepreneurs.

Yet, the power of training can open many doors for entrepreneurs. The Centre de Formation et d’Encadrement Technique S.A. (CFET) knows this fact firsthand. In past years, it implemented a technical training project in the South of Haiti. CFET implemented training modules to benefit the communities through consultants. But there was a problem: after the activities were completed, the resources the MSMEs needed were still inaccessible. This was a problem that CFET wanted to solve.

A challenge becomes an opportunity

Enter the ATTEINDRE project. Funded and supported by MEDA and the United States Agency for International Development, it is supporting 30,000 MSMEs to become bankable enterprises. When the ATTEINDRE project was launched, CFET saw an opportunity to provide sustainable business advisory services. Soon after, CFET partnered with the ATTEINDRE project. For their partnership, instead of hiring consultants again, CFET collaborated directly with the Institution Nationale de Formation Professionnelle (INFP). Their collaboration became the first public, private partnership (PPP) between the organization and the ATTEINDRE project.

CFET and INFP provided business training services for trainers and entrepreneurs, including women and youth business owners, at their Central Plateau regional center. The trainers received classroom and practical training while INFP supervisors evaluated their progress. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs received one-on-one business coaching from INFP trainers that covered topics, such as inventory management, cost calculation, and administration advice.

The result

As a first-time PPP, the program was a success. Over three hundred enterprises received sustainable business advisory services. Overall, these services will further strengthen Haiti’s business ecosystem.

“A long time ago, entrepreneurship education was something I thought was for the upper and middle class. I didn’t think today I would be able to access this type of information. I work in the transformation of manioc to cassava, and cost calculation is something that I will never forget.”

– A Haitian entrepreneur and ATTEINDRE client

On a larger scale

Through the ATTEINDRE project, MEDA supports organizations like CFET and entrepreneurs with the tools and opportunities to thrive. By providing technical assistance and access to finance for MSMEs, MEDA and its partners can support these enterprises to grow, become more competitive, and create jobs within trade areas across Haiti.

ATTEINDRE is also a core part of MEDA’s efforts to deliver decent work for businesses and farmers in the agrifood market system and to create or sustain decent work for 500,000 people by 2030.

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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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