St Martin Enterprise Programme
The St. Martin area of Port-au-Prince, home to between 70,000 to 100,000 people, is severely economically deprived, with high levels of gang violence and an unemployment rate of 85%. Even though it is located in close proximity to key infrastructure such as Haiti’s national port, the principal city of Port-au-Prince and the international airport, the area suffers from a lack of basic government services. Electricity supply is intermittent, there are few toilets and little to no running water.
Soul of Haiti began working in St Martin in 2011 with the aim to help stimulate economic growth in the area by empowering disadvantaged entrepreneurs to succeed in business; supporting their personal and professional development. Despite all the challenges in the area there is a strong community of emerging entrepreneurs who require this advice and training.
We provide training programs for local entrepreneurs and also partner with Syracuse University & Community Bakers International on a project which has involved the renovation of a bakery and ongoing training and business development support for local bakers.
Over time we have become more actively engaged with local community groups and run regular soccer tournaments for kids and adults. In 2012 we facilitated a number of locally led initiatives to generate community pride which included street cleaning and the painting of buildings and houses to engage the residents and local business leaders.