Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Goal Revealed: It's Business Time!

I know, I know. The suspense has been killing you. "What will my donation be used for?", you ask. And my reply up until now has been, "Patience, young padowan. Patience. All in due time." Well, your wait is over. The goal is about to be revealed.

Recently, Sustain Haiti's leaders have been having substantial conversations with leaders and members of the community in Leogane. They have repeatedly asked them how Sustain Haiti can best help them to meet their own needs. One major resounding answer is that people want to work to support themselves -- either to find a job or start a business so that they can employ themselves.

Last year, Sustain Haiti sponsored a business plan competition that turned out to be a huge hit. The winners of the competition were given cash prizes to help them get started on turning their ideas into actual profit-making ventures. And they did: last year's first-prize winner earned enough income for himself through his clothing distribution business that he was able to finance himself for two years while he performs volunteer missionary service for his church abroad. (He handed the management of the business off to his sister while he is gone, and under her leadership it is still flourishing.) This year's competition will take place this month, and is already looking promising with some fantastic business plans being developed.

Hence, we are already looking to expand and improve next year's business plan competition. And there, folks, is the long-awaited goal of "1,000 Miles for Haiti": to raise $5,000 to go toward next year's business plan competition winners. We want this business plan competition to become one of the most impactful events around, turning innovative ideas into businesses that provide sustenance, opportunity and growth for the community. We want to be able to increase both the number and size of awards we grant next year, so that even more Haitian entrepreneurs can start businesses and ventures that will have a positive impact. Ultimately, that's what Sustain Haiti is all about: providing resources and opportunities so that Haitian people can get to work addressing Haitian problems through uniquely Haitian solutions.

More to come!

1 comment:

  1. I read all your posts today, and I am so impressed with the sustainability and community/cultural awareness of this group. I know I've said it before, but I have to again- WAY TO BE!!