On a trip to Haiti last week, former President Bill Clinton checked up on recent investments by the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation in support of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farming cooperatives in the impoverished country.
Clinton used the trip to highlight the results of the roughly $1 million in grants and investments the foundation made in the impoverished country in 2013 — and the more than $30 million in foreign direct investment in local businesses it has helped facilitate. One of those businesses, Sustainable Recycling Solutions Haiti, was re-launched last year with the help of a joint $250,000 investment from the foundation and entrepreneur-philanthropist Todd Wagner. The recycling operation pays hundreds of Haitians to collect recyclable materials and converts them into new consumer products such as clothes, lumber, furniture, and toys. Recently, Hong Kong-based Giant Dragon announced a commitment to buy four million pounds of SRS plastic over the next year.
"This is a big deal," Clinton told reporters. "It will clean up Port-au-Prince. It's good for the environment. It will stop the clogging of a lot of places in the city."
Clinton also announced a grant of $28,000 to Haitian microfinance group Fonkoze to provide literacy training programs to up to six hundred smallholder farmers in the Thiotte region of the country. And he visited a school that was built by the Digicel Group as part of its Clinton Global Initiative commitment to build a hundred and fifty schools in the country. Digicel used the occasion to announce that it will soon be topping off the $45 million hotel it is building in Port-au-Prince with Marriott International, while Marriott will soon be announcing the names of the young Haitians who have been selected to participate in its Hospitality Leadership Development Program.