Four Haitian entrepreneurs have been selected to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES2016) to be held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, from June 22-24.
All four businesses have received investments from the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) project, an initiative funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) that supports small- and medium-sized businesses in Haiti.
Participating LEAD entrepreneurs range from a social enterprise that markets propane stoves to reduce carbon emissions to a company that manufactures hi-tech computer tablets. They are:
Myrtha Vilbon, Glory Industries
Glory Industries manufactures personal paper products such as toilet paper and napkins. The factory employs 49 people, 70 percent of them women. Ten percent have a disability. Thanks to an early grant from LEAD, the company secured bank loans and leveraged over $1 million to start operations.
Kalinda Magloire, Switch S.A.
SWITCH S.A. markets propane stoves to the Haitian Diaspora, harnessing the power of remittances to support development. The company has generated over $400,000 in sales since it started operations in 2014. SWITCH also partners with renowned chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen to convert charcoal stoves to SWITCH’s propane stove system for school lunch programs.
Elan Moncher, Action et Cooperation en Développement (ACOD)
ACOD is a Haitian agricultural enterprise operating in the North of Haiti, which produces a variety of organic hot peppers, using only organic fertilizers. Through the LEAD program, the company received a grant to install irrigation equipment, construct a business facility, and improve their operations. In the future, ACOD will be able to concretize its project of promoting and exporting the organic Haitian pepper variety to the international market. The company’s expansion has been able to generate over 400 jobs.
Diderot Musset, Sûrtab S.A.
Sûrtab S.A. is a Haitian start-up that manufactures a popular brand of “Made in Haiti” Android tablets. Since launching in 2013, Sûrtab has grossed more than $4 million in sales and grown to provide technology-based solutions for key sectors such as education, health and agriculture. Eighty percent of the company’s employees are women.
Selected from among 5,000 applicants from around the world, the Haitian businesses will join over 700 entrepreneurs and more than 300 investors at GES2016.