Haiti’s entrepreneurial spirit was on full display at an Expo showcasing Haitian- and diaspora-led businesses in Port-au-Prince on June 8. Dozens of businesses received funding and support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program, which is implemented by PADF.
With the theme “Engines of Economic Development,” The LEAD Expo was a chance for entrepreneurs to network and display their products to members of the public and private sectors as well as potential investors. U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Brian Shukan congratulated the entrepreneurs on their success. “Today we celebrate you all as you display Haiti's economic potential,” he said in his remarks. Several of the LEAD entrepreneurs also spoke about their experiences running businesses in Haiti.
In total, the 45 LEAD enterprises have stimulated the Haitian economy by creating 13,695 jobs and producing $27.9 million in sales.
LEAD aims to facilitate the mobilization of investment capital from the diaspora and other sources and to increase the impact of that investment in small businesses and community-based social enterprises. Since 2011, USAID has invested $7.4 million in businesses in various sectors of the Haitian economy, unlocking $12.7 million in private capital.