This dynamic group of women leaders will discuss ways to tackle the “Missing Middle” in the global economy and locally in Haiti. SMEs generally occupy the middle of a sector or an economy, but in developing countries, they face many challenges that those in nations like the U.S. do not have. Many developing countries – like Haiti – suffer from a “missing middle”. They typically have very large numbers of informal micro-enterprises. They may also have a handful of larger firms-possibly ventures created by foreign investment, or family-owned businesses built up over generations. But there are typically few SMEs in-between.
Whether SMEs in developing countries CAN thrive is an indication of whether the larger economy WILL thrive. In Haiti, women can fill this gap – Women are key to the country’s long-term economic recovery. Unfortunately, too many women entrepreneurs and small business owners in Haiti are not yet prepared for the global marketplace.
The Danielle Saint Lot Haiti Women’s Foundation, a U.S. based non-profit, has launched a Women’s Business Academy, which will mentor and prepare women entrepreneurs to sell their goods internationally and in turn strengthen their local communities and increase the quality of life for their families and neighbors.