The owner of Wilter’s Sugar Cane Mill has already built a successful business. He has 5 employees (including a cane harvester, a cane transporter, two operators, and a cook to prepare the syrup) and plans for expansion.
There’s just one BIG problem. He currently has to lease oxen to make his sugar cane mill run, at $75 a week! Having his own oxen will decrease expenses on leasing costs and make the business more reliable.
Patrick Dessources is a senior business analyst for Zafèn. He’s part of the team in the field that fans out across Haiti introducing Zafèn to entrepreneurs. Getting the word out has not been difficult. Indeed, he had an appointment recently in Marin with one business owner and 16 showed up. Similarly, he had an appointment in La Colline and 60 people showed up!
The Fonkoze network has been an effective way of informing the business community about the way Zafèn links funders to business development projects. Patrick says, “Zafèn does something very different.” Instead of saying ‘we’ll give you this and this,’ Zafèn asks businesses what they need and then finds a way to fill that need.
Patrick has found that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are a hot topic in Haiti, and Zafèn and its partners are playing an active role in supporting the growth and development of this sector.
We couldn’t do it without your help. Check out the latest projects available for funding at zafen.org.
As if asking them to spend a sweltering summer working in Haiti weren’t enough, we asked our interns another favor. Tell us about it! Here’s our first response, from intern Jacqueline Ackerman of Fonkoze’s Zafen project. Thanks, Jacqueline! Look out for more Q&As on our blog in the coming…
35 Great Ways to Help: Lend to these Projects in Haiti
Our role here at Zafen is to match donors with projects in Haiti that deserve funding. Projects that will create jobs, promote sound business practice practices and demonstrate a path to self-sufficiency for new entrepreneurs.
Right now we have 35 projects that are urgently in need of funding. These include:
All of these projects will increase jobs and give a must needed boost to the local economies. Your small loan can make a HUGE difference. Or better yet, create a team and work with friends to fund a project together.