Business-oriented solutions that create jobs and revitalize industry can create a stronger Haiti that relies less on foreign aid and more on the enterprise of its people.
With business support and facilitation from the Clinton Foundation and on-the-ground training from Caribbean Crafts, Haiti’s artisans are beginning to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery.
Located near the Port-au-Prince airport, Caribbean Crafts is helping Haitians get back to work by training and employing artisans in traditional crafts and newer designs. Caribbean Crafts directly employs 300 people, many of whom live in the nearby tent camp. The business also sources products from artists in areas throughout Haiti, helping numerous artists in diverse regions stay in business.
Using readily available materials such as recycled paper and plastic bottles and river stones, artisans create a variety of decorative and functional pieces — in papier mâché and stone — that resemble animals, people, and other symbols of daily life. Through the Clinton Foundation’s support to connect the business with retail outlets, these home decorations, and even holiday ornaments, are being sold at Anthropologie.
Caribbean Crafts is an important partner in the Clinton Foundation’s economic recovery efforts. By helping Haitian arts and crafts find new markets and increasing global demand for these products, the Foundation also ensures that Haitian artisans will be the agents of their own long-term development. In 2011, The Haiti Development Fund, funded by the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative and Carlos Slim, approved its first investment of U.S. $415,000 in Caribbean Craft, a Haitian artisanal company that exports its products to Macy’s, Anthropologie, and Donna Karan.