From March 8th to 11th, FINCA Haiti’s head office prepared to celebrate Women’s Day and Haitian women’s contribution to the country’s economy. Under the marketing campaign “Mache Kontre”, FINCA Haiti spotlights brave and powerful women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds, sectors and stages in their entrepreneurial journey.
Celebrating five FINCA Haiti clients
FINCA Haiti brought together five amazing women from the informal and formal sectors, living in both urban and rural areas. Marjorie, Kettia, Marthe, Rose Syncia and Lorgina joined hands to showcase their products, ranging from fresh fruits, vegetables, and processed farm products to artistic crafts. During this event, FINCA was also able to showcase how they can accommodate the different needs of women entrepreneurs depending on the type and size of their business. Two of the women involved in trading agricultural products became part of the FINCA family thanks to a Village Banking group; one received an individual loan after attending FINCA entrepreneurship training while another chose a Small Micro Enterprise Loan (SME loan) to help land a big contract.
The exhibition provided the opportunity for staff, clients and the public to (re)discover what these amazing women have achieved. Behind their bright smiles are different stories but also common challenges of gaining new clients, selling their products and keeping their businesses alive.
Marjorie Alexandre is a young mother and a new face of FINCA’s “Mache Kontre”. She successfully turned her crafting skills into her main source of income by producing and selling affordable jewelry pieces for women as well as teaching craftsmanship to youth in her community. Due to the level of insecurity in Croix-des-Bouquets where she resides, participation in many of the other exhibitions became a challenge and therefore affected her sales. Kettia Jean, founder and CEO of KetD’lis, was also affected by the country’s economic recession and increased insecurity. “My last sales event was in December” she recalls. Therefore, both women were delighted at the opportunity to network and most importantly, sell their products at the FINCA “Mache Kontre” exhibition.
Rose Syncia and Marthe, CEOs and founders of two growing brands, promoted their local Haitian delicacies at the exhibition and were quickly inundated in orders. Providing employment to more than ten women each, the new business is addressing one of the major issues their sector is facing now: the decline of cultural and trade events where they can engage new clientele and secure new contracts. Events like Mache Kontre are proving critical for these two seasoned entrepreneurs who have faced a drop in sales drop since the delivery of their products to the South and North regions became risky due to gang activities.
Transportation is a risk that fruit trader Lorgina, and her daughter Sheelove, have learned to live with. While her transportation costs have increased due to insecurity in areas she purchases her inventory, she’s been able to remain profitable by offering a larger choice of fruits to her clientele.
How FINCA Haiti will continue to support women entrepreneurs
To support resilient women entrepreneurs such as Marjorie, Kettia, Marthe, Rose Syncia and Lorgina, FINCA Haiti will continue to run empowering initiatives, while reinforcing its educational program to address challenges faced by FINCA Haiti’s 49,000 women clients and other women entrepreneurs. In addition to loan management, FINCA Haiti will also offer training in: business and personal objectives setting, budget planning, debt management, sales and marketing, customer service, business management, mobile money use, savings and building financial resilience to prepare for future economic crises.