Rhené, a Say Yes! To Business! beneficiary in Haïti
In PORT-AU-PRINCE, with our programme SAY YES! TO BUSINESS
“Twice now I’ve had to start all over again… But this time, with your help, it’s third time lucky!”
“I started my tailoring business 30 years ago with a sewing machine I bought with my savings. At first, my customers were just people who worshipped at my church (I’m a pastor). Slowly but surely, my reputation grew – along with my clientele. After a year I bought two more sewing machines and took on two tailors. Business was going well…
A personal tragedy changed everything
In 1995 my world fell apart: my wife died following the birth of our second child. I spent a lot of money trying to save her, but all to no avail. Then I had to pay for her funeral too. My business went under: I had no money left to keep it afloat, and no motivation either. After a year, my in-laws helped me get back on my feet and lent me the money to start up again. And it worked: four years later, business was booming and I even remarried.
Another setback, another relaunch…
In 2010, my house and workshop were destroyed in the earthquake. I lost everything… except my life; I spent two days under the rubble but, by some miracle, I escaped unharmed. This time I used my savings to relaunch the business straight away. I bought new machines and rented premises… but after a year I was forced to shut up shop, as my takings didn’t even cover my rent and electricity.
Eventually, and for the first time ever, I resigned myself to asking for help from various financial providers, but this did not work out. Then, finally, the Fund for Economic and Social Assistance (FAES), a public institution, recommended I contact Entrepreneurs du Monde.
At last, the success Rhené deserves!
The Say Yes! to Business! team at Entrepreneurs du Monde helped me find a loan and subsidies that enabled me to rent premises and buy sewing machines, a generator and batteries. I also received training in costing, stock manage-ment and sales techniques.
Thanks to such in-depth, concrete support, my business is doing well and I’ve created three jobs. With the help of Say Yes! to Business! I have also managed to start my own brand! We even have an advert on the radio… Clients of Haitian origin send me orders from as far away as the United States and Canada. So you see, I’ve fi-nally done it—and this time it’s for good!”