Type: Community Business, Women’s Empowerment
Objective: Open up a dry goods wholesale business that will create jobs and help a local women’s group bring in revenue to maintain past projects and fund future projects.
Where: Gran Sous, La Gonave, Haiti
Beneficiaries: Direct-85 women’s group members, Indirect-over 2,500 area residents
Cost: Start-up Costs-$33,453, Business Management Workshops-$7,500, Management & Business Development-$22,200
Funding Partners: The Inter-American Development Bank, Seven Hills Global Outreach, the Debley Foundation, the Tolland Junior Women, Inc., Sara Chase & Elliot Stieglitz, and Anonymous
Implementation Partners: Femmes en Democratie and CDECH Haiti
Of the world’s 1.3 billion people living in poverty, nearly 70% are women. We want to help change that!
GFDAG (The Women’s Group for the Development and Advancement of Gran Sous) has created a community business on the island of La Gonave by reselling basic goods that have been bought in bulk in Port-au-Prince. Buying these products in bulk and at a cheaper price means they can be sold at a lower price, making them more accessible to the poor. The business creates employment for local women, and the revenue from the business reduces the dependency Gran Sous’ women’s group (GFDAG) has on outside funding for its development projects. GFDAG expects this project to continue stimulating the local economy and lessen the hardship of the residents living on the island.
GFDAG will initially staff this project with volunteers. Once they begin generating revenue, the committee will review its finances to determine if they can create some paid positions. However, all eighty-five members of GFDAG participated in a 33-day training in business management. Run by a consultant with Femmes en Democratie, an organization based in Port-au-Prince, the members of GFDAG learned about topics such as personal and organizational development, conflict resolution, and business and financial management. After the initial set of workshops were over, Femmes en Democratie supported GFDAG throughout the opening and the first few months of the business. CDECH Haiti has since taken over and focuses on business development and strengthening management practices.
Over the past three years, the wholesale business has generated over $10,000 USD in sales. Most of the profits are currently being reinvested into business development until the point when the business is strong enough for profits to be used to keep vulnerable and orphaned children in school. GFDAG is looking to expand into a larger facility with better security and solar powered electricity to keep up with growing demand.