What does Haiti's entrepreneurial ecosystem look like?

What does Haiti's entrepreneurial ecosystem look like?

June 7, 2021

A large survey conducted in recent months by Développement international Desjardins (DID) in partnership with HEC Montréal and the SEED Network attempted to answer this big question. Thanks to this survey, a complete mapping of the national and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem in Haiti has been completed.

Based on a rigorous analysis of the available data and interviews with 101 ecosystem stakeholders (51 service providers and 50 women and men entrepreneurs), this mapping identified the main entrepreneurial support service providers across the country and the services they offer. It also revealed the main strengths and weaknesses of the existing ecosystem and identified ways to improve the programs offered and strengthen the value chains they fall under.

Among other things, the mapping revealed that the number of programs is higher at the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey but decreases as entrepreneurs reach the riskiest portion of their journey—when they actually enter the market and attempt to establish themselves.

Ways to strengthen the ecosystem, and the entrepreneurs

This survey helped us identify a number of areas to improve the competitiveness and innovative capacity of Haitian entrepreneurs, as well as the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole. Here are a few:

  • Make entrepreneurs more aware of the financing programs offered by the government
  • Strengthen the capabilities and availability of support service providers associated with the prototyping and experimentation phase as well as the market launch and establishment phase: 2 critical stages of the entrepreneurial journey
  • Foster connections among service providers so that they, in turn, can help entrepreneurs better access other services they need as their business grows
  • Encourage a shift in thinking towards creativity and innovation and offer entrepreneurs training activities that focus specifically on these critical skills

On March 24, the results of the study and the mapping it produced were presented to a group of Haitian donors and organizations at a workshop attended by over 74 participants.

  1. The SEED Network is composed of 2 Canadian universities, 2 U.S. universities, 2 Haitian universities, a Colombian university and a Tunisian university. This group works under the leadership of Pôle Ideos, which is affiliated with HEC Montréal. The Banque de la République d'Haïti (BRH), the Fonds de développement industriel (FDI) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Haiti also supported the initiative.