In order for Fonkoze to help advance Haiti’s economy through small and medium enterprises, we know that there are some core economic sectors that need extra support. Fonkoze seeks to take a value chain approach to supporting these sectors, meaning that we look at them in a holistic way—from the individuals producing raw materials to the businesses selling products in domestic and foreign markets.
Fonkoze’s Zafèn team is leading this effort, supporting small and growing entrepreneurs—especially those who would not qualify for credit at a formal financial institution—by providing them with training, coaching, and soft loans. To date, Zafèn has disbursed over $1.7 million raised through peer-to-peer lending platforms like Kiva Microfunds, Inc. We have helped 575 entrepreneurs create over 900 permanent jobs. As a means of further supporting these entrepreneurs, Zafèn works closely with Fonkoze financial services and Kiva.org, helping to prepare the entrepreneurs to pursue financial services in the formal sector.
Currently, one of Zafèn’s core programs supports the artisan sector in Haiti in collaboration with the Artisan Business Network and Fonkoze financial services. Zafèn is helping to build the business skills of the artisans while the Artisan Business Network is helping to refine their skills and connect them with domestic and international markets.