Haiti is understood – correctly – to be a place with many challenges. But for talented people with an entrepreneurial mindset and the right tools, big challenges mean big opportunity. In 2015, our partnership with the University of Notre Dame Hinche launched a joint 2-year Bioscience Program housed at the school’s Hinche campus. This program has already graduated 45 new professionals, including 18 youths from Maison Fortune Orphanage.
We look to continue this partnership through the development of the Kwasans Entrepreneurial Center to further support Haitians rebuild and grow their communities.
The Kwasans Entrepreneurial Center
The Kwasans Entrepreneurial Center is a more viable way to invest in the community of Haiti compared to the traditional view of aid. Here, we are promoting capital formation from within the country by promoting and partnering with the people of Haiti in entrepreneurial endeavors that create wealth, jobs, and goods & services needed by Haitians.
From this vision has arisen the Kwasans Entrepreneur Center at the University of Notre Dame Haiti – Hinche. The center will house a two-year business school with the curriculum supporting entrepreneurship. Students will be evaluated while enrolled for their potential in terms of ability to manage a small business. Those deemed capable will receive investment funding for their business startup in a partnership with the center. The returns on the investment from these start-ups will be reinvested in future graduate startups.
Haitians Helping Haitians
One of the keys to this program is the concept of equity partnership. By being the primary owner operator of the respective business, the graduate has the ability to generate their own capital and invest into the business’s future growth thus creating greater wealth for themselves as well as the country of Haiti. They will then hire additional workers, thereby expanding the country’s economy. The Center will connect our graduates and the Haiti business community with sources of capital and credit to fuel businesses, ideas, and initiatives.
Initial investments that have already been funded include a chicken farm located in the Central Plateau, Mailbox Etc. which is an international franchise for shipping and e-commerce as well as business centers providing mailbox and printing services. Another funded investment is the construction of libraries and classrooms from shipping containers.
For additional information on these projects please visit their respective pages under the 'Initiatives' tab above.