Entrepreneur Finds the Recipe for Success in Haiti

November 13, 2017

How do you support yourself and your family when getting a job isn’t an option?

That’s the question that Daphney St. Claire, a woman living near Jeremie, Haiti, had to answer.

When she was a child, Daphney’s father left her family and moved to Port-au-Prince, leaving her and her two siblings to be raised by their single mother. Daphney’s mother supported their family by working as a street merchant, but her business was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Given the state of the economy in Haiti, Daphney recognized that it would be better to create income opportunities herself, by starting her own business, instead of waiting for employment to become available.

One thing that motivated me to start my own business is the unemployment in Haiti. People cannot find a job, it is better to create something that can generate money instead of waiting for a job,” Daphney said.

Daphney learned of Just Hope International’s Entrepreneur Development program through the University of Jeremie, where she is a second year Agronomy student. The program takes a holistic approach to developing entrepreneurs by providing capital investment and business mentoring that allows entrepreneurs to launch and grow businesses that increase their own income potential and generate jobs in the community. To apply for the program, Daphney would need to complete a questionnaire outlining the what, why, and how of her business idea, and define measurable goals for her personal and professional development.

For her business idea, Dapheney turned to something she had considerable experience in: making peanut butter. With a recipe she had been perfecting since age 15 (smooth and robust with a hint of a spicy kick), Just Hope’s Entrepreneur Development program would be the opportunity she needed to get her venture off the ground.

After completing the application process, Daphney was officially accepted as one of 23 entrepreneurs in the program. With a hand up from Just Hope, she could take ownership of her future and provide for her family through her business, utilizing a skill she already had.

“Creating your own enterprise means you create a job for yourself and for others,” Daphney said.

Now, Daphney is refining and growing her business as a result of things she’s learned through business mentoring as part of the program.

Daphney saw a lot of value in the business training. After realizing there were diabetics in her community who preferred salty, rather than sweet, peanut butter, she has developed a second recipe that will appeal to these potential customers and allow her to increase her market share.

Daphney is using a hand up from Just Hope to improve her own circumstance, but also to give back to her community. She has already hired one employee and plans to hire more as her business grows. And, she will be passing on life and business skills to youth who will serve as interns when they age out of local orphanages.

Whether it is salty or sweet, Daphney has found the right recipe for success in one of the most difficult economies in the world.

Learn more about our Entrepreneur Development program in Haiti, and meet more remarkable people.

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