Port-au-Prince] – The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is helping bring savings and loan services to the Haitian people in some of the country’s most remote regions. With USAID’s support, the Accessible Finance Project worked with Le Levier, a national credit union network serving over 850,000 members, to develop the innovative Kès Pa’m Pi Pre’m (KPPP) (“My Credit Union Close to Me”) digital solution.
As Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Nicole Theriot of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince stated, “The U.S. government is proud to empower micro-business owners to better manage their money, get bigger loans, and grow their businesses through this innovative Kès Pa’m Pi Pre’m digital solution.”
Now, two of Le Levier’s credit union members, Société Coopérative “Lavi Miyò” (SOCOLAVIM) in the Artibonite department, and Caisse Populaire La Fraternité (CPF) in the North department, are offering KPPP savings and loan services to their clients. Equipped with new tablets and portable printers, SOCOLAVIM and CPF’s agents are now traveling to rural communities across Haiti’s northern region to open accounts for micro-business owners and conduct transactions directly with their new clients. They also hold community meetings in remote areas to educate people about the importance and advantages of saving money and getting credit, which helps their clients learn to better manage their money.
Elvina, a shop owner in the Artibonite department, is one of thousands of women who have opened a savings account at a credit union to grow her business, thanks to USAID Haiti’s Accessible Finance project. Accessing a support network and loans has been empowering for women like Elvina. “I am proud to say I hold a savings account at Société Coopérative “Lavi Miyò” (SOCOLAVIM) through Kès Pa’m Pi Pre’m services. With KPPP, I am going to save more regularly and apply for larger loans to grow my business,” said Elvina, adding, “I always wished to have a savings book in a respected financial institution. With KPPP’s services, I still belong to a community group for smaller loans, but now I am able to get bigger loans and do those transactions right in my community. It saves me time and money!”
Women own and run the majority of micro-businesses in Haiti, and women in rural areas are especially excited to learn how to use financial services and access loans to grow their small businesses. Over 60% of the KPPP clients are women, who with the profits they make are able to invest more in their communities, by paying for food, education, and other basic needs for their families.
USAID Mission Director Chris Cushing noted, “We are very pleased that many of the new members were and are still a part of informal village savings and loans groups. With KPPP savings and loan services, they now have direct access to bigger loans right in their communities that will help them purchase more stock to grow their micro-businesses.”
Prophète Fils-Aime, Director General of SOCOLAVIM, confirms the interest of credit unions in using digital solutions to help remote communities engage in formal financial transactions. “Reaching customers in remote areas has always been a goal for our board of directors. Kès Pa’m Pi Pre’m is the solution [we] have been seeking for a while now,” said Fils-Aime.
USAID Haiti Director Cushing said, “Having access to essential savings and loan services creates opportunities for citizens, helps them raise their living standards, and enables them to chart their own future. USAID is proud to increase access to the inclusive financial services that drive economic growth and sustainable, long-term development.”
For more information on USAID Programs, visit www.usaid.gov.