Doing business in Haiti is difficult. The World Bank ranks Haiti 181 out of 190 countries on its ease of Doing Business Ranking. This ranking considers the ease of starting a business, access to credit, taxes, available infrastructure, ect…
Haiti has a large informal economy that mainly consists of import re-sellers. Manufacturing is a growing sector in Haiti because of its proximity to the United States and the tax breaks that are available to Haitian manufactures. Recently, there has been a push to increase the minimum wage for all manufacturing employees.
While doing business in Haiti seems like a daunting task there still is a push for foreign investment here:
Since Good Threads moved its operations here to Haiti, in 2015, we have grown each and every year. In 2016 we achieved our goal of employing all of the parents of children attending The Joan Rose Foundation, bringing our number of full time employees to 70. We also have changed our finishing processor to Haiti Leather which means that 100% of our products are stitched and assembled here in Haiti. Currently we employ just under 100 people and we are hoping to expand our wholesale manufacturing so we can hit our goal of 200 employees by the end of this year.
We have been able to be successful here in Haiti because money isn’t our number one priority. Giving our employees quality and dignified employment will always be the mission of Good Threads. Our sales team in the United States has done an excellent job marketing and selling our products to US consumers who want quality products that greatly benefit the people who produce them.
Yes, doing business in Haiti can be extremely difficult. Of course, with any business you have to make sure you are staying a float, can keep providing jobs, and aren’t completely losing money. But when you put aside the numbers, analytics, profit margins, and focus on making sure people are able to work so they can support their families you really understand what is important in life.