This week, U.S. Ambassador Peter Mulrean and USAID Mission Director Jene Thomas got a closer look at how small businesses are having a big impact on Haiti’s economy. They visited Glory Industries, a Haitian business that manufactures sanitary products such as napkins, paper towels, tissues and toilet paper in Port-au-Prince. Deputy Chief of Mission Brian Shukan, USAID Haiti EGAD director Michael Wyzan and PADF Country Director Nadia Cherrouk also joined the tour.
Glory Industries received technical assistance and a grant of $200,000 through the USAID-funded LEAD program (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments) with a contribution of $1.8 million in matching capital. The company began operations in July 2015 and already employs 90 people, most of them women. Projected revenue for this year is more than $2 million dollars.
The company is led Myrtha Vilbon, a dynamic female entrepreneur with more than three decades of business experience. She decided to start a local factory to compete with foreign imports.
Following strict safety standards on the tour, the group observed how bales of paper are formed into long rolls, cut to size and packaged. Vilbon also pointed out the handicap access ramp and told visitors about Glory’s efforts to recruit disabled workers.
“Her passion and dedication to the success of the project was obvious throughout the visit,” said Cherrouk, adding that the delegation was very pleased with their visit and noted that projects like LEAD and enterprises like Glory are great contributors to Haiti’s growth.
"I feel like I accomplished a duty,” Vilbon told PADF at the LEAD Expo last year. “As an entrepreneur, I help to improve the economy through the creation employment in my country and the reduction of our near total dependence on imports.”