Feed the Future: Northern Corridor AVANSE
Agriculture enterprises in Haiti have outdated business management practices that contribute to weak value chain linkages and impede agricultural growth. Women-owned businesses, in particular, struggle to gain equal access to agricultural markets.
To improve inclusive and sustainable economic growth in agricultural areas in northern Haiti with high potential, Making Cents International worked to increase the productivity of micro, small, medium, and large enterprises (MSMEs)—particularly women-owned MSMEs—and strengthen their relationships within agricultural value chains.
The curriculum we developed aimed to strengthen the ability of local training and business service providers to provide relevant technical support and ongoing coaching for targeted MSMEs, including in business and enterprise management and soft skills.
We collaborated with local Haitian partner SofiTraining to roll out the curriculum, titled Seizing Business Opportunities, to 10 medium sized agro-enterprises that helped them clarify goals, identify weaknesses and develop business improvement plans. Trainings were delivered in three phases:
Four initial workshops oriented participants, explored and identified critical skills needed for business success, and culminated in business skill capacity-building action plans.
Our local partner delivered specific business management and technical trainings identified in action plans.
Ongoing coaching ensured that training participants were applying their new business skills and knowledge effectively and meeting their business goals.
Making Cents also supported the project’s gender components. We provided a starting point for discussions on a gender strategy and workplan and supported the creation of a seven-member Gender Task Force: a local team with gender focal points drawn from each component of the project. We also compiled gender-related resources for AVANSE staff and supported the development of a tracking tool to monitor gender inclusion that was used in every component. We also made recommendations on approaches and activities that AVANSE could incorporate into project activities that advance gender inclusion.
In 2013, we developed a methodology to analyze gender-inclusiveness, and applied it to cocoa, peas, corn, and banana value chains. We also led a gender-inclusion workshop for the AVANSE team; assessed constraints facing women entrepreneurs within target value chains, focusing on Madam Saras (market women) and Ti Machanns (microentrepreneur). We also produced a report on strategies for linking production and nutrition to help women entrepreneurs make good decisions about what they produce and its nutritional value for their families.