Haiti

Haiti

“[YSB Haiti] focuses on long-term, self-sustainable projects for Haiti’s development rather than immediate emergency relief. Its aim is to gear the Haitian economy towards greater economic independence and thus relieve the most pressing needs of Haitian society.”

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Private Sector Development Report, 2011

“Haiti is open for Social Business.”

LAURENT LAMOTHE
PRIME MINISTER OF HAITI

THE YSB HAITI INITIATIVE incubates social businesses in three areas: Education & Vocational Training, Agriculture & Environment and Nutrition.

A Message from our Country Director, Claudine Francois


“Private sector development is the key to Haiti’s sustainable economic growth. Since 2010, YSB has become increasingly recognized as an important change maker in Haiti. We have fantastic support from the Haitian government and international development organizations, such as the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Artists for Haiti. YSB has proven capacity to contribute to the sustainable development of Haiti.”




OUR INVESTMENT IN HAITI

The primary criteria we look for in our investments are significant social impact, high likelihood of financial sustainability, and potential for scalability and replicability.
Investments range between USD100,000 and USD300,000.


  • YSB Haiti Fund makes low interest loans to the social businesses supplemented by a minority equity investment
  • First repayments from investee companies are expected starting from year 3 onwards and will be distributed back to social investors. It is expected that any social investor loan will be fully repaid within 8-10 years.
  • All profit generated from investments are reinvested in other Social Businesses through the YSB Haiti Fund.

The first social business investment of YSB was a training center in Port-au-Prince which as of October 2012 has enrolled over 950 students (of which more than half are women) in its Basic Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy courses.

YSB has also invested in a jatropha plantation, which secures income for 200 farmers, prevents soil erosion, grows edible jatropha fruits and uses it to produce biofuel and animal feed.

Currently, more than 80 percent of Haiti’s food is imported. YSB has invested in three poultry farms and two bakeries, thus, improving access to basic food and necessities. Furthermore, the profits of these social businesses will be used to subsidize schools in different parts of Haiti.

For more information about the Social Businesses YSB invests in, please go to http://www.yunussb.com/case-studies-media/case-studies/.

ARE YOU A SOCIAL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR IN HAITI?

Yunus Social Business welcomes Social Business entrepreneurs with business plans (or business concepts) that address social problems in Haiti.

We also welcome those with an interest in solving Haiti’s problems but with no specific business idea. For each Social Business concept, we follow a strict process from initial review until funding, which requires intense cooperation between YSB and the prospective Social Business entrepreneur.

If the entrepreneur submits a well-thought-through business plan, and all required paperwork is available, the process from initial contact to funding takes approximately 3 months.

To get in contact with the team in Haiti, please write to haiti@yunussb.com.

Our partners in Haiti

A key factor for the success of the YSB Haiti Initiative is the networks of partners it cooperates with. YSB’s partners have brought a wealth of knowledge, skills and resources to bear on the initiatives work in Haiti. Among others, the YSB Haiti initiative has been showcased at the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Global Social Business Summit and the Artists for Haiti Gala.

We are proud partners of USAID, Haiti Partners, Hope for Haiti, UNEP and more.

Haiti Forest: a new social venture by Yunus Social Business, Virgin Unite and Clinton Foundation

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Yunus Social Business Haiti are delighted to join hands with Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Unite, Former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to set up a new social business joint venture: Haiti Forest.

The two main objectives of the Haiti Forest initiative are:

1. To increase the tree cover and regenerate the environmental benefits that derive from it
2. To improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers who are the key to breaking the deforestation cycle and igniting a reforestation dynamic.

Haiti Forest will be designed as a market-based ecosystem of Social Businesses along the agro-forestry value chain.

Haiti is one of the most environmentally degraded countries. Almost all of the country was originally forested but there is now less than 2% cover left. Deforestation has both environmental and social dramatic consequences. It reduces the surface of arable lands, affects the natural cycle of water, damages rivers and coastal ecosystems, leaves inhabited areas unprotected from flooding. As rural livelihoods are directly impacted, regular sources of revenues from agriculture are weakened, often leading the poorest population to chop more trees for making and selling charcoal.

To stop the destructive cycle and from a development point of view it is critical to address deforestation and its root causes. Environmental services and rural livelihoods all depend on the development of sustainable mechanisms to reverse the deforestation cycle and ultimately rehabilitate key watersheds and their environmental and economic functions.

Experience of previous initiatives shows that reforestation can’t based on free trees handouts or programs relying on traditional charitable funding, inevitably limited in time. We also believe that the key to break the destructive deforestation cycle is to create mechanisms where the trees bring more value when grown and protected than when cut. For Haiti to restore its tree cover, Haiti Forest targets to create market value around trees, and make tree planting an intrinsic part of the agricultural system.

Haiti Forest innovative approach is to create an ecosystem of complementary Social Businesses all along the agro-forestry value chain.

These Social Businesses, financially self-sustainable, will target high-value local and international markets, based on trees products, contributing directly to alleviating pressure on land by increasing livelihoods of smallholders and to increasing tree cover.

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