CDB and partners kick off project to support micro and small enterprises in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE – A project has been launched to give female and male entrepreneurs in Haiti better opportunities to grow their businesses.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Inter-American Development Bank, Global Affairs Canada and Desjardins International (DID) of Canada have partnered to increase access to business loans, saving products, and services for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Haiti.
The project, launched this week, will support Le Levier Fédération—a network of savings and credit cooperatives—in establishing a specialized MSE Finance Unit.
Peter Blackman, Portfolio Manager and Guillermo Aguilar Rios, Operations Officer of the Private Sector Development Unit at CDB visited Haiti to participate in the launch of the project. The Bank’s funding will specifically focus on underserved and unserved MSEs on the island.
“Providing credit and savings support for MSEs will contribute to enterprise growth and sustainability, while improving the living and economic conditions of several rural householders in Haiti, who otherwise would experience financial exclusion,” said Blackman.
The new unit to be established under the project will follow the Affiliated Center for Financial Entrepreneurs (CFE) model developed by DID. The CFE will provide relevant financial products and services to the MSE sector, through the network of cooperatives. Under the new model, the Center will make a recommendation based on a request from MSEs, while the savings and credit cooperatives (Caisses Populaires) ultimately grant the loan and bear the credit risk.
The Project titled, ‘Support for the Establishment of a Specialised Micro and Small Business Financing Assessment Unit, within the Le Levier Fédération’ has an investment of US$3.04 million, which includes a loan component of US$500,000 for onlending to first-tier savings and credit cooperatives within the Le Levier network that utilise the CFE model for the financing of MSEs.
The remaining resources will be used to support the establishment and implementation of the CFE model within participating financial cooperatives. CDB has committed up to US$500,000, which will focus on financing activities related to the establishment of CFEs in the north and south of Haiti among the participating cooperatives.