Maxandre is a partner school principal with an entrepreneurial spirit. He knows how underfunded Haitian schools are, so is intrigued by the idea of a social business to help. But at first he’s critical, “I’m an educator. How am I supposed to run a business?”
Over the following year, Maxandre receives substantial training. He learns how social businesses generate revenue for a cause – like his school. He also learns that responsibility for running it is a shared effort involving parents, teachers, community members, and coaching from Haiti Partners.
Maxandre’s school then partnered with three other local schools to start a poultry farm, as a social business. A business plan is drafted, loans and grants are secured, the farm is constructed, jobs are created. A viable path towards financial independence and a sustainable future is created for the schools.
90% of schools in Haiti are privately owned and run. With more than half of Haitians living on less than $1 per day, parents struggle to afford tuition fees and schools struggle just to get by. Teachers go unpaid, materials are lacking, facilities are dreadfully inadequate, and teacher training is almost unheard of. Schools need alternative sources of revenue besides tuition fees.
Since 2013 we have helped develop four social businesses: two poultry farms to support our partner schools, a bakery to support the Children’s Academy, and, most recently, a handmade Haitian paper enterprise. We have also piloted entrepreneurship curriculum and launched several local savings and loan groups.
Haiti Partners has partnered with Yunus Social Business, which was founded by the father of the microfinance movement and Nobel laureate, Muhammed Yunus. Through this partnership, we guide our school partners through the process of creating their own social businesses. These medium-sized enterprises address local market needs while generating revenue for the schools and putting them on the road to financial independence. In the process, our Haitian colleagues cultivate their entrepreneurship and business skills. Our strategic objective for this Entrepreneurship program is to create successful social businesses and cultivate entrepreneurship and business skills.
When you become a scholarship partner, you support talented entrepreneurs like Maxandre to secure a better future for themselves and their schools.