[Port-au-Prince] The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announces its new, four-year, $12 million Atteindre (Attain) project to help small local businesses in Haiti access support to develop business plans, access bank loans, become formalized, and acquire the skilled labor they need to become profitable businesses. The United States government, via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will partner with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) to help 30,000 informal micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) grow and create jobs.
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Michele Sison, commented, “Haitian small businesses are the drivers of long-term economic growth. The U.S. Embassy is working to increase opportunities for Haitian entrepreneurs; helping these businesses grow will increase Haitian families’ incomes and build more resilient communities. USAID is helping the Western Hemisphere become more peaceful, secure, and prosperous by strengthening the capacity of governments and private entities to improve governance and create an economic environment in which the private sector can flourish and create jobs.”
Informal MSMEs generate up to 80% of new jobs in Haiti, but many of these businesses face challenges that impede their growth, such as limited access to financing from formal institutions and few sources for advice on how to grow and expand their businesses. The USAID Atteindre project will create a more business-friendly environment by addressing the key challenges to business creation and inclusive expansion. The project will build on USAID’s long history of supporting local businesses for economic growth in Haiti. Over the past 10 years, USAID has helped over 12,000 micro enterprises get loans to start or expand their operations. With USAID support, another 90 SMEs generated over $110 million in sales and created more than 27,000 jobs.
Claude Clodomir, Chief of Party of the USAID Atteindre project adds: “This project will build on USAID’s long-standing commitment to support local businesses in Haiti. Based on all the lessons learned over the years by USAID, we are looking forward to working closely with businesses to create opportunities for them to get more financing, become more competitive, and generate jobs.”
The USAID Atteindre project will help establish a network of Haitian business advisors that will provide these businesses with affordable advice and workforce training specifically tailored to their needs. The project will facilitate the connection between MSMEs and financial institutions in order to help them access the capital they need to invest in their businesses. In order to reach more businesses and create more jobs, the project will strengthen sector associations while supporting the Government of Haiti’s strategy for MSME expansion and job creation.
The USAID Mission Director further noted, “Supporting local businesses is a key part of USAID’s worldwide strategy of helping partner countries drive their own economic growth from within, what we call the Journey to Self-Reliance. We are very excited that this project will help 30,000 small and micro businesses in Haiti to thrive.”
About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
Since 1953, MEDA has implemented effective market-driven programs globally. MEDA combines innovative private sector solutions with a commitment to advance and empower excluded, low-income, and disadvantaged communities (including women and youth). They have core expertise in market systems and value chains, climate-smart agriculture, inclusive financial services, and impact investment. MEDA partners with local private, public, and civil society actors to strengthen individuals, institutions, communities, and ecosystems, and thereby contributing to sustainable and inclusive systemic change.