Haiti: Bus LIDE - Roving Innovation Lab: From ideas to business

Innovation Areas: LAB, HACKATHON
Stage: Early stage

LIDE = Laboratoire d’Innovation et de Développement Economique

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The problem addressed

Youth unemployment is one of the main issue in Port-au-Prince and in particular in Fort National neighborhood. While over 90% of small businesses are informal, youth unemployment rates in urban zones almost reaches 60%.
Lack of access to traineeship and business services are a key constraint for young entrepreneurs. Not only transportation makes every daily task a challenge, but even the basic infrastructures represent a heavy constraint for the people that seek employment.

The intervention

LIDE bus is a roving training facility offering business management trainings for youth in particularly vulnerable neighborhoods in order to enable them to launch their own start-ups.

We insured community participation by hosting the launching event in the neighborhood and therefore including the population, which is key for the achievement of the project.

The community was sensitized on the importance of small businesses as an economic and dynamic catalyst of the neighborhood and as an efficient way of empowering people.

The first step consisted of training the selected entrepreneurs; the successful projects of start-ups then benefit of a personalized coaching on the long term.

These start-ups benefit from financial support and a close follow up is ensured by coaches from the project and the microfinance institution.

The partners

Haitian microfinance institution Kotelam offers the bank accounts and the daily management of the micro-grants for the young entrepreneurs.
Haitian Training institution Fondation Etre Aysyien has been giving inspirational and technical courses to the entrepreneurs enrolled in the program since day one.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is our governmental counterpart for every employment and business initiative in Haiti.
Haitian Telecommunications Company SURTAB is providing technology material (tablets) and motivational inputs to entrepreneurs.
Haitian University of Informatics (ESIH) is developing an application to monitor the start-ups that will allow beneficiaries to stay in touch with their coaches while following their economic activities.

Results/outcomes

300 young entrepreneurs enrolled in the LIDE program. The LIDE bus served as a communications mean to inform and sensitize the community of Fort National neighborhood about the project. After receiving a 100 hours of business and self-esteem training, they were subject to different selection phases: they are now 80 to present the final examination. After evaluation on their business-plan and a 4 minute live-pitch, half of them will benefit from a 500USD grant and the possibility to take a loan up to 1500USD. During one year, the 40 young entrepreneurs will benefit from a close follow-up and coaching from an expert in the LIDE bus while also using the management application to collect data and to monitor the activities.

Lessons identified

Innovation is not about technology, it is about the opportunities that one is able to identify in his own environment. By living in the community, young entrepreneurs have the best insights of the needs of their community and how to respond to them.

Fort National is a precarious neighborhood and implementing such project would not be possible without building a long term and close relationship with the population. In fact, in the context of UNDP 16/6 project, community platforms were set up, enabling trust towards UNDP’s work and strengthening our collaboration, which undoubtedly enabled LIDE project to take place.

Constant communication and sensitization of the community about the projects, its constraints and its objectives is crucial.

People we are working with encounter really few opportunities to change their situation: giving them the choice and the inspiration to change their community by achieving the idea they have can be life changing.

Contact person

Fredly Antenor:fredly.antenor@undp.org

Related materials

Blog:

L’innovation au service des jeunes entrepreneurs. Découvrez le bus LIDÉ!

Les premiers pas d’Alexandra dans le monde de l’entreprenariat

Exposure: SHIFT Haiti


Budget

$50,000 USD



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