Haitian Companies Compete in 2009 Pioneers of Prosperity Contest

  • Posted on: 11 September 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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On September 11th, winners will be selected for the Pioneers of Prosperity Caribbean Awards 2009.  Two Haitian companies are in the running: (1) Alternative Insurance Company, founded in 2001 by Olivier Barrau to provide a range of insurance products aimed at Haitians earning less than $4 a day, and (2) Solutions S.A., founded by Kurt Jean-Charles in 2000 to create customized database solutions and  information systems.  Both companies demonstrate the potential of Haitian businesses and we wish them the best of luck.  More details about the contest are below.


Part of the global Pioneers of Prosperity (PoP) Award Programme, the event brings together top Caribbean businesses, investors, leadership, and members of the community to celebrate and recognize torch-bearing entrepreneurs and their firms in the region.  The competition highlights the power of entrepreneurship to drive prosperity in the Caribbean in the midst of the global economic crisis.


PoP’s long-term aim is identify, highlight, and promote powerful role model entrepreneurs that will inspire the next generation of Caribbean business leaders. Pioneers of Prosperity is founded on the fact that innovative ideas and dynamic business models exist in even the most challenging markets, and that greater prosperity will ensue if these local models of success are better understood, better supported, and showcased widely.  A Pioneers of Prosperity (PoP) Award winner by definition is an entrepreneur whose business provides sustained value to its customers, workers, owners, and future generations, and whose commercial success and entrepreneurial spirit make them a role model to their peers.


Winning companies are selected using the COW-F framework, which was developed by Michael Fairbanks.  COW-F entrepreneurs create value for four key stakeholder groups: 1) they innovate to satisfy customers; 2) they, as owners, provide a competitive ROI; 3) they provide high and rising wages to and training for workers; and 4) they have a sustainable business model with initiatives that strengthen society and do not degrade the environment.   Framed another way, winners know what product or service to offer to which customer to give them a competitive advantage.  They nurture, train and compensate workers with a sustainable, community involved, and environmentally sound business model for the future.


All ten winners at the country-level received a grant from the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) of US $40,000 to invest in training and technical infrastructure for their company and are eligible during the regional competition for a chance to win an additional US $60,000 and the prestigious title of Pioneers of Prosperity Caribbean.  All five honorable mentions will receive a similar grant of US $10,000.  Winning firms will also be connected to a global network of technical expertise, potential investors, and other cutting-edge entrepreneurs.


The competition is sponsored by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the InterAmerican Development Bank and The John Templeton Foundation. Michael Fairbanks of the SEVEN Fund developed the concept for Pioneers of Prosperity, and the program is executed globally by the OTF Group


A detailed program overview, frequently asked questions, detailed profiles of the competing companies, and biographies of the program’s executive team and sponsors can be found online at : http://pioneersofprosperity.org/PoP-Press/ 


You can follow it all online and find out more about the 2009 event at PioneersofProsperity.org. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the newsreel being developed, please email pioneersofprosperity@otfgroup.com Any specific press inquiries, including requests for interviews, can be directed to that same address or to 876-455-8208.

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