Development and Peace is launching a new social economy program with its partners in Haiti. The program brings together a dozen local organizations that are receiving support and funding from Development and Peace to set up social enterprises that range from poultry farms to mango production and community bakeries.
The aim of this innovative initiative is to reduce poverty and increase agricultural production for local consumption, which will improve food security. At the same time, these new businesses will enable the organizations involved to ensure their own funding and break the cycle of donor dependence. This new initiative is the final phase of Development and Peace’s reconstruction program in Haiti following the violent earthquake that struck the island on January 12, 2010.
From July 12 to 15, a dozen local organizations took part in a training seminar on socially-oriented business enterprises in the 21st century. The seminar, which was organized in collaboration with Group Croissance, enabled those launching social enterprises supported by Development and Peace to learn more about the community-oriented nature of these types of businesses, their operations and management techniques, as well as the conditions to make them sustainable.
Among other things, the seminar helped participants to understand the international and local environments in which they are operating and master the tools and concepts related to the analysis of the value chain. It also provided them with the necessary tools to efficiently manage their new businesses.
In this way, the economic activities developed by these enterprises can help the organizations achieve greater autonomy, as they can re-invest profits into their community programs and continue to pursue their missions even after Development and Peace’s funding in Haiti comes to an end.
“In the current context, we think that it is essential to direct our partners towards the social economy and support them in the start-up and management of their social enterprises. A dozen social enterprises are currently in the creation phase, in particular in poultry farming and agriculture, and these will enable the most vulnerable and aid-dependent communities to become social entrepreneurs who can generate their own revenues,” said Jean-Claude Jean, Development and Peace‘s representative in Haiti.
Five years after the earthquake, Development and Peace is continuing to work with local grassroots organizations on long-term development in the country. Development and Peace has contributed $2.8 million of its own funds towards this new social economy program.