The 2010 earthquake caused an estimated $8 billion in damages (120 percent of GDP) resulting in a great loss of capital for many businesses. While the country benefited from a surge of financial resources pledged by the international community, alternative equity funding sources for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remained scarce.
In 2010, Fundación Carlos Slim A.C. and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership announced the creation of an innovative new investment fund that creates a new source of financing for small- and medium-sized businesses in Haiti that are underserved by existing capital markets. None of the benefactors will derive profits from the Fund’s activities; all realized financial returns will be reinvested in the Fund to enable additional future investments.
The Haiti Development Fund (HDF) is a $20 million dual bottom-line social impact fund that seeks to make investments (in the form of debt, equity or quasi-equity), primarily to SMEs in Haiti. HDF is not a grant-making entity — the Fund measures the success of its investments not only in terms of financial returns but also based on other benefits, including sustainable job creation and effective capacity improvements. We intend to use HDF’s investments to achieve maximum social impact through our investee companies.
HDF intends to align our priorities with those growth sectors identified by the Government of Haiti and its multi-lateral partners. HDF will also supplement its investment capital with technical assistance by enhancing standards of corporate governance, financial transparency, accounting and marketing.
On August 17, 2011, the HDF announced a US $415,000 investment in the Haitian artisan and handicrafts company, Caribbean Craft. The investment will allow the company to construct a new production facility to meet the demands of their orders from retailers like Macy’s, Anthropologie, Urban Zen (founded by Donna Karan), and West Elm. The new production center will create up to 200 new artisan craft jobs, and put 100 independent producers to work.
For more information on Haiti Development Fund, contact Jean-Marc Villain, Fund Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions regarding this fund, including applications can be obtained by contacting: HDFInfo@clintonfoundation.org.