Rewriting Haiti’s Narrative: Ten Haitian Entrepreneurs Helping To Reinvent Their Nation
Forbes, James Ellsmoor, Dec 1, 2018
Haiti’s social and economic narrative is being rewritten by innovative entrepreneurs dedicated to championing sustainability and self-sufficiency while celebrating the vibrant and creative culture of the island and its citizens, which dates back to the Haitian Revolution that started in 1791 and represents the world’s first and only successful slave revolt.
Political instability, natural disasters and a lack of economic opportunities have contributed to mass migrations away from the island and a view of Haiti as a troubled nation in the eyes of the world. A generation of enterprising young Haitians are chipping away at that imposed narrative and replacing it with one that speaks to the strength, ingenuity and beauty of the country and its culture.
Here you will meet ten young entrepreneurs who are creating opportunity in this Caribbean island nation to uplift Haiti’s environmental, economic and social landscape.
These inspiring Haitian entrepreneurs are demonstrating that a nation can overcome its challenges and rewrite its story, both for itself and in the eyes of the larger world. They also prove that a combination of innovative ideas, effective use of technology and a dedication to solutions that honor the integrity of both the natural and the human landscape can produce truly transformative results.
Jude Celiscar, Goodoo Courier, LLC
In his travels between Haiti and the U.S., Celiscar became aware of the difficulties that many Haitians face in the purchasing and delivery of consumer goods. Recognizing that commerce is the backbone of an economy, Celiscar formed Goodoo Courier to address those issues. The company partners with small businesses and university students to help stimulate economic growth on both the individual and societal level. Concerned with the natural environment as well as the economy, Goodoo Courier uses recycled materials from other areas of the island for its packaging materials.
In addition to being the founder of the company, Celiscar is also an author and international speaker on business and leadership. He is dedicated to changing Haiti’s narrative and inspiring young people to invest in themselves and their country by taking the lead in creating opportunities for success.
Don’t be so quick to think about the financial profit but think about the social impact, the social transformation that your company will have on your community and on your environment.– Jude Celiscar
Daphnée Karen Floréal, Bijou Lakay
With a talent for art and finance and possessing a strong business sense, Floréal merged her skills and passions in forming Bijou Lakay. Taking inspiration from Haiti’s native elements, Floréal uses wood and beef horns to create ethically sourced handcrafted jewelry pieces. While inspired by international trends, her pieces strongly reflect and celebrate the vibrant Haitian culture. Along with reducing unemployment and having a positive impact on the economy, Bijou Lakay’s community of artisans also strives to preserve and pass on the creative crafting processes and cultural heritage of Haiti.
Floréal is actively engaged in promoting entrepreneurship and other activities that have a positive impact on the youth of Haiti, such as literacy and sports. In her love for her home, commitment to cultural authenticity and entrepreneurial spirit, Floréal is a reflection of the current reshaping of Haitian creativity and identity.
Always dream big. Even if you are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, your country can’t define your story. You are the only one who can decide what your life, what your family and what your business will be. – Daphnée Karen Floréal
Also featured are…
Mike Bellot, Solo Bag
Nora Jeanne Joseph, RADIKAL
Stephane Jean-Baptiste, Kreyòl Essence
Jessenia Thimotee, Epis Kreyol
Johnson “Blada” Desauguste, Kay Blada Recycling
Wanda Tima, L’union Suite & The Haitian American
Christian Tribie, 121 Consulting Group
Duquesne Fednard, D&E Green Enterprises
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