Decades ago, the international development community realized that when relief organizations distribute donated goods for free to people in need, the death of the local businesses that produced those goods is one of the outcomes. No one understands this more than Daniel Jean-Louis, an investor, and entrepreneur in Haiti.
Jean-Louis’ firm, , offers small loans to small business that don’t qualify for loans from the conservative banking sector in Haiti. Working with the private sector, government and NGOs, he aims to create 100,000 jobs by 2020. The entrepreneur reports having helped to create over 10,000 jobs so far.
Bridge Capital is a small investment firm registered in Haiti at the Ministry of Commerce, with only $1 million in capital. In a country where a $10,000 loan can have a great impact, that amount can help about 100 companies. Jean-Louis expects the company to triple its capital base in 2018, allowing him to reach a profitability level. Profits come from about 7% interest margin on the company’s loans.
According to Jude V. P. Tranquille, founder of Haiti Entrepreneurship Camp, Bridge Capital is bringing investment and jobs to Haiti. Jobs that are created by the company are transforming lives and providing hope to many families. Jean-Louis’ vision is to curb unemployment in Haiti. Unemployment is a big problem in his country. About 70% of Haitians lack a formal job.