At his head office, FINCA was happy to deliver a financial education masterclass to 60 micro-entrepreneurs living and working in Haiti’s most unstable community, Cité Soleil. Attendees received a certificate of course completion along with strengthened business knowledge and renewed confidence. The COVID-19 pandemic brought huge concerns and revenue losses for small business owners in metropolitan Port-au-Prince. But the big challenge for these seasoned entrepreneurs is the ongoing intense gang activities in their local community, long considered a “red zone” community.

Learning the Basics of Finance

In this time of increased crisis and recession in the Haitian economy, understanding the basics of finance and entrepreneurship can make the difference between success and failure. During the intensive three-day training, participants learned financial concepts, budgeting, and good business practices. The aim is that they use the knowledge to keep their enterprises running and their family expenses under control. The training also included topics and exercises around goal setting, savings, and debt management. It concluded with an interactive session on business planning. Participants were divided into four groups to pitch different types of business plans–production, trade, service, and technology innovation.

Feeling Empowered and Confident

Participants like Rose Daylalle Sylvestre and Jonise Dorestant expressed gratitude for the sessions, which they found very practical and informative. Another enthusiastic participant, Yvrose Napaul, left the course feeling more confident with her newly acquired skills. She felt ready to make sound financial decisions that will positively impact her family’s quality of life. For FINCA, the training was a resounding success as the participants improved their average test score from 5 pre-training to 8 (on a 10-point scale) at conclusion.

For the past three years, FINCA Haiti has been intensifying its financial education efforts to support entrepreneurs who often do not have a formal education and/or access to finance and business courses. To expand the reach and impact of their training, FINCA Haiti is partnering with other international NGOs, like Concern Worldwide, who introduced this latest group of trainees.

This financial literacy training was made possible with support from the Government of Canada.