CAP HAITIAN, Haiti (Oct. 23, 2012) – The Pan American Development Foundation's (PADF) program, LEAD (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investment for Haiti, funded by USAID and in association with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Professional Activities for Northern Haiti (CCIPN), selected four entrepreneurs as the winners of the Business Plan Competition. The awards include four matching grants to businesses which are now expected to create a total of 442 long-term jobs.
This ceremony is the result of the business plan competition’s first round, initiated during the second quarter of 2012. Small and medium-sized businesses, operating in the three development corridors (Port-au-Prince, St-Marc, and Cap-Haitian) submitted applications for matching grants. Through a rigorous review process, four of the 129 business plans submitted were selected as winners.
The main LEAD objectives are to attract capital, create jobs, and generate income for Haitian citizens. The Program further supports economic development through the provision of technical assistance to grantee enterprises. LEAD also works in the US to mobilize investments from the Haitian diaspora and other US funders to leverage the development impact of local investments. Of the 4 winners, two operate in the Northern area.
Through this Business Plan Competition, the USG reinforces its efforts to contribute to decentralization of the Haitian economy, improve access to capital for Haitian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises, and increase the development impact of investments and remittances from the diaspora and other capital providers.
“With support from the Government of Haiti, and a close partnership between Haiti and the 4.1 million US residents of Haitian descent, we can provide the capital and business expertise to grow Haiti’s business sector and integrate it into the regional and global economies” explained LEAD director, Mr. Gregory Hemphill. “The US Government is committed to supporting this process, as evidenced by the LEAD Program and its other initiatives.”
With the GoH emphasis on business and investment, as well as the choice of the Northern Corridor as a strategic economic development, the USG is contributing to building a better Haiti.