Lead Program Extended

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (July 17, 2015)—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced an extension of its successful Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) in order to continue creating jobs and promoting economic growth in Haiti. New funding of up to 5 million will be used to stimulate private investment in Haiti’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase the development impact of remittances via ongoing engagement with the Haitian Diaspora through early 2017. To date, LEAD project has funded 31 enterprises and leveraged over $10 million USD in private capital. The program has provided training and technical assistance to more than 100 enterprises, and created to date 9,000  direct and indirect jobs across the Port-au-Prince, St. Marc, and Cap-Haitian corridors.

Among other activities, new funds will be used to re-open the popular Business Plan Competition (BPC), a matching grant program for Haiti’s most promising small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  Enterprises will be judged on various criteria including the feasibility of their project, number of jobs created, innovation, and impact on the local economy. Winners of the BPC will receive between USD $50,000 and $200,000 and must raise an equivalent amount in private capital investment for a 1:1 match.

This next round of the BPC will have a special focus on women entrepreneurs and job creation in the St. Marc and Cap-Haitien regions. The goal is to provide capital to an additional 15 to 20 qualified enterprises.  In addition, high-performing previous winners may be eligible for second-round funding, if they exceed job creation and other performance metrics.

The Business Plan Competition will re-open for new applicants between July 20 and August 7, 2015 via an application form that will be available on LEAD’s website (http://www.leadinvestmentshaiti.info).

 “Extending the LEAD project contributes significantly to the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to job creation and economic security in Haiti,” said Pamela A. White, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. “LEAD has a proven record of supporting Haiti’s best and brightest entrepreneurs through matching funds and technical assistance. This is a major deliverable against our pledge to work with the Government of Haiti to support sustainable businesses and we are excited to have this opportunity to continue LEAD’s good work.”

 “PADF is very pleased to continue its partnership with USAID to engage with the private sector, support business development in Haiti, create sustainable jobs, and promote economic growth in the country,” said Nadia Cherrouk, LEAD Chief of Party.

For details on the next Business Plan Application and to submit an application, please visit LEAD’s website at http://leadinvestmentshaiti.info. Information sessions about the process will be held in Port-au-Prince (July 24th), in St. Marc (July 22nd and 30th), and in Cap-Haïtien (July 23rd and 30th,). .

About LEAD
Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments is a USAID activity designed to attract investments in Haitian small- and medium-sized enterprises and to increase the development impact of remittances. LEAD operates in the three USAID target development corridors: Cap-Haïtien, Saint-Marc, and Port-au-Prince. The project is implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). http://leadinvestmentshaiti.info

About USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development is the U.S. Government’s international development agency and has worked in Haiti for over 50 years on behalf of the American people, helping to mitigate the impact of natural disasters and periods of political instability while promoting health and education and increasing long-term economic growth and good governance for the well-being of the Haitian people and the advancement of the country. http://www.usaid.gov/haiti

About PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is a nonprofit organization that brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org