Help Delice Atelier to become more internationally competitive

Help Delice Atelier to become more internationally competitive

Mireille, a native of leyogan, is a single mother of three children. She is a self-made Haitian businesswoman. She has been one of the most influential women artisans in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is o ...

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    Posted on 06/19/2014

    Zafèn and Kiva Join Forces to Increase Loans to Haitian Entrepreneurs

    Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 19, 2014: Zafèn is pleased to announce a partnership with, the world’s largest crowd-funding platform connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty. Zafèn has become Kiva’s first Haiti-based field partner supporting the Small Growing Business (SGBs) Sector. The move allows Kiva’s growing global community of 1 million lenders to support Haitian entrepreneurs, including many woman-owned businesses, as they grow and create jobs.

    Zafèn, which has raised nearly $2 million since it was founded in 2010, is a crowd-funded loan source for Haitian SGBs that do not qualify for traditional bank loans or microfinance and otherwise would not have access to capital. Zafèn also raises donations for social projects in Haiti with community benefit, including clean water, education and the environment.

    "We've long admired Fonkoze as an industry leader in socially-oriented microfinance and wraparound services and as an organization that shares Kiva’s focus on using innovative channels to alleviate poverty and create jobs,” says Cynthia McMurry, Kiva’s regional director, Latin America and Caribbean.  

    “Zafèn is a truly innovative program serving an underserved and challenging market niche,” McMurry adds. “We believe that through Kiva's ability to crowdfund affordable loans and the Zafèn team's expertise in serving the needs of SGBs, we will be able to impact the SGB sector in Haiti in a meaningful way by helping these businesses grow, create jobs and develop their communities." 

    Zafèn provides SGBs with a range of quality financial services, training and business development programs designed to move them toward financial inclusion, increased employment opportunities and improved family economic security. Over the past four years, Zafèn lenders have funded nearly 500 business loans and donation projects. This has created more than 800 new jobs. Furthermore, Zafèn has trained hundreds of Haitian SGBs in financial best practices.

    Montreal-based Katleen Felix, president of the Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group, says the Haitian Diaspora has been operating like small-scale social impact investors in their hometowns for decades. “Zafèn was designed with advice from the Diaspora to facilitate choosing viable businesses and providing much needed follow up in the field,” she notes. “This partnership with Kiva is an important milestone that will increase our base of users around the world who are ready to collaborate with the Haitian Diaspora and their hometown associations."

    The Migration Policy Institute reports that in 2012, 606,000 Haitian immigrants lived in the United States, 77,000 in France, 74,000 in Canada and 40,000 in the Bahamas. Three-quarters of Haitians in the United States live in the greater Miami, New York, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta areas.

    Carine Roenen, Director at Fonkoze—Zafèn’s parent organization—explains that the partnership with Kiva enables Haiti lenders to continue to visit to view potential business loans. “Now these loan opportunities also reside on and are booked by Kiva when the user checks out,” she says.

    This collaboration reduces Zafèn’s administrative costs and allows Zafèn to devote additional resources to Haitian business owners and to present more loans from Haiti. Donation projects will remain under Zafèn’s administration and only appear on the Zafèn website.

    “Zafèn is a great example of the International Vincentian Family’s support of systemic change initiatives that build the capacity of the Haitian people to meet their needs and claim their human rights,” says Rev. Joseph Agostino, C.M., coordinator of the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative. “The partnership with Kiva allows a much larger segment of socially conscious lenders to support Haitians as they build their country’s economy.”

    About Zafèn

    Zafèn, which means “It’s our business” in Haitian Creole, uses crowdfunding to stimulate collaboration between Haiti-based business owners, the Haitian Diaspora and others interested in supporting the Haitian economy. To qualify for a loan or donation, businesses must demonstrate an anticipated impact on the broader community by hiring more employees, operating more efficiently, becoming more environmentally friendly or other measures. Zafèn was founded by four organizations: Fonkoze, Haiti’s alternative bank for the organized poor serving more than 200,000 clients; the Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group (HHTARG), which enables the Haitian Diaspora to foster economic and social growth to alleviate poverty in their native communities; the International Vincentian Family, an assembly of people worldwide affiliated with organizations who find inspiration in the legacies of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac; and DePaul University in Chicago, the largest Catholic university in America. For more information, please visit:

    About Kiva

    Kiva is a non-profit organization working to alleviate poverty by connecting people around the world through microlending. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower create new opportunities for themselves and their family. Together with more than 780,000 Kiva lenders and a worldwide network of 142 microfinance institutions, Kiva has created economic opportunity for more than 815,000 borrowers. Since its inception in 2005, Kiva lenders have funded more than $320 million in loans with a 98.9% repayment rate. Kiva is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit:


    Media Contact:
    Linda Boucard, Director of Communications, Fonkoze

    Gillian Williams
    Media and Communications, HHTARG

    Posted on 02/14/2014

    Zafèn, Crowdfunding Platform for Haitian Entrepreneurs, announces Winner of Prosperity Contest

    Port-au-Prince, 12 February 2014—Djennie (Jane) Dorvilier of Montreal, Canada is the winner of the "It’s Our Business to Unleash Haiti’s Prosperity" contest.

    Posted on 08/15/2012

    Katleen Felix on Making Haitians Self-Sufficient with Zafèn

    Ever heard the expression that it is better to teach a man (or woman!) how to fish, then to feed him (or her)? The whole concept behind the organization Zafèn was created with that maxim in mind.

    Posted on 07/25/2012

    2012 Global Diaspora Forum: Moving Forward By Giving Back

    U.S. Sec of State Hillary Clinton praised Zafèn’s own Katleen Felix at the Global Diaspora Forum in Washington! See what’s going on right this minute at the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) conference.

    Posted on 03/25/2011

    Chicago Zafèn Supporters! Please come - April 1 – for Taste for Zafen

    Chicago Zafèn Supporters! Please come: April 1 – for Taste for Zafen, A Chocolate, Wine and Cheese Benefit featuring entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs, from Chicago to Haiti. 5 – 7:30 pm at DePaul Center. More info to come very shortly.

    Posted on 11/06/2010

    Don't forget! Zafen logo t-shirts make great holiday gifts!

    Click on the link to go to our Zazzle store to buy a Zafen t-shirts or customize one to create your own!

    Posted on 11/03/2010

    Want to Help Zafèn Spread the Word?

    We’ve posted a list of things you can do to build awareness about Zafèn, educate others and introduce new people to the magic of micro-lending. Try it. You’ll like it.