If there were no businesses offering employment, how would you make a living? If you had no bank or well-off parent to give you financial help, how would you start a small business? The inability to find a job or jump start a self-employment opportunity is a problem for almost everyone living in rural Haiti.
Several years ago, Haiti Foundation of Hope began laying the groundwork for a micro-loan program to assist people in starting their own small businesses. Last year, we started a micro-loan training program in Terre Blanche. It included mostly women from the three villages we serve: Terre Blanche, Dubedou and Finel. Forty participants (35 women and 5 men) completed the 27-lesson curriculum. A new group of 15 participants have been selected for the next class, which starts this month.
The micro-loan program was designed by Community Health Evangelism. In addition to a business discussion, each lesson includes a moral topic such as honesty, perseverance and self-control. Lessons include characteristics of successful business people, making a business plan, finding resources and materials, and pricing and profit.
Everyone who successfully completes the program is eligible for a loan based on a business plan developed during the training. A typical loan is $150 to $500 (U.S.). These seemingly small loans can make a difference. They can make it possible for a family to eat regularly or for a parent to send a child to school.
We invite you to join with us in encouraging these entrepreneurial people. HFH has set a goal of raising $17,500 to provide funds for these loans. The first $10,000 has already been committed, leaving $7,500 to complete the goal. Would you like to help others build a successful business by providing a loan? If so, you can donate online.
Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide hope.
Written by Ron Kinley, HFH board member