PADF and USAID Launch Series of Haiti Investment Road Shows with Support from Haitian Diaspora

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2013) – On March 16th, the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investment (LEAD) program for Haiti, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), is launching the first in a series of Haiti Investment Road Shows entitled “Investing in Haitian Progress.” The initial event will be held at Columbia University in New York City, with subsequent events planned for eight cities in the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic. For the road shows, PADF is partnering with the US-based Haitian Hometown Association Resource Group (HHTARG), which links 350 Haitian diaspora associations worldwide and works with many organizational and individual stakeholders to promote Haiti’s development.

The events aim to inform potential participants of the new phase of the LEAD Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Business Plan Competition matching grant program and the LEAD Social Enterprise matching grant program. The LEAD Business Plan Competition provides 1:1 matching grants of $50,000 to $200,000 for business plans that are found to best support the development of SMEs and increase employment in Haiti. LEAD’s Social Enterprise Program leverages investments from investment intermediaries in Haiti that specialize in supporting enterprises run as commercial businesses while allocating profits to social benefits.

The road shows will also offer current information on the investment environment in Haiti and on relevant stakeholder organizations, including investment funds, financial institutions, business service providers, social enterprise investment intermediaries and Haitian government investment promotion entities. In addition, they will provide a forum to exchange information on increasing the development impact of remittances at the household and community levels.

Featured speakers at the launch event are Philippe St. Cyr, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti; and Jerry Charles, a diaspora investor in Haiti and a recipient of a LEAD Business Plan Competition grant. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with LEAD representatives about the Business Plan Competition and Social Enterprise programs and learn about the benefits associated with HHTARG membership, the largest Haitian diaspora umbrella organization in the United States.

The first Road Show will take place at Columbia University on March 16 from 8am to 6pm. Registration space is limited. RSVPs and further inquiries may be sent to leadbpc@padf.org. Subsequent locations and dates will be announced shortly.  Additional information can be found at www.leadinvestmentshaiti.info and www.haitiresourcegroup.org.

About PADF

PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2012, it helped more than 10 million beneficiaries in 29 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, and Suriname, and programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org

About HHTARG

Founded in 2008, the Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group (HHTARG) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose main purpose is to link the diaspora with Haiti to achieve development. HHTARG supports organizations working in and for Haiti while strengthening relationships between the international donor community, financial players, and government actors for the purpose of development initiatives in Haiti.  HHTARG is also a place for investors, social enterprises, and business leaders to learn about investment opportunities in Haiti, acting as a critical link between Haitians living abroad and the institutions that serve them and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and capital to accelerate social and economic development in Haiti.