28 January 2009

CHES International ~ Haitian Entrepreneurship!

I was delighted to host the Christian Haitian Entrepreneurial Society (CHES) co-founder and President Rebecca Roseme Obounou on my TV show tonight. Rebecca's an Haitian-American colleague of mine at MIT Sloan who has been quite passionate about economic and venture development in Haiti, the Caribbean birthplace of her parents. Between her youth here in Cambridge, MA and her college years at Bentley in Waltham, MA, Rebecca and her parents returned to live in Haiti. Now after studies in business and international relations at Bentley, she's impassioned about prosperity for the people of Haiti. We talked about her startup NGO organization, CHES, whose goal is to restore and transform Haiti economically, environmentally, and socially into a sustainable nation driven by core values. This very young but quite entrepreneurial organization is focusing on three top projects:
  1. Boosting incomes for farmers through food processing via dehydrators
  2. Making a market for local musicians through PeaceTones
  3. Developing a business skillbuilding program in collaboration with a northern Haitian community and its local university
I'm really delighted by the progress Rebecca and her colleagues have made over this past year in building CHES and getting those who are part of the diaspora to think of becoming part of the reaspora -- those returning to participate in the entrepreneurial and economic development of Haiti! (And yes, I thought "reaspora" was a original Joost spinonym when I suggested it to Rebecca tonight, but Google schooled me!-)

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