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Rep. Clarke Introduces the Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act of 2010

Yesterday, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke introduced H.R. 4961, the Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act of 2010, in the House of Representatives. If enacted, this legislation would create the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund for the purpose of investing in small and medium sized businesses owned by Haitian citizens. The Enterprise Fund could be an integral component for Haiti’s post-earthquake rebuilding process.

“The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund (HAEF) can help spur long term, sustainable economic growth,” stated Rep. Clarke.

The HAEF would be an Enterprise Fund, modeled after private equity and venture capital funds. It would be funded by U.S foreign aid dollars and run by an independent board of talented individuals with investment and business expertise. The primary goal of the HAEF would be to provide financing to small and medium sized indigenous businesses through loans and equity investments. The Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act would support the development of a robust private sector in Haiti, with a focus on expanding private property rights for Haitians of limited economic means.

“Through the financing provided by the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund, Haitian businesses will be capable of achieving sustainable growth while creating jobs at the same time,” stated Rep. Clarke. “The Enterprise Fund model is a proven, innovative tool created by Congress and former Presidents to assist in long-term recovery efforts in countries that have experienced political and economic turmoil.”

“This model has been tested and proven. Post-Soviet Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa have both benefited both economically and socially from the investments that Enterprise Funds have provided,” added Rep. Clarke. “I am convinced that this method will be equally, if not more effective in Haiti.”

“The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund will lay a foundation for a wide scale rebuilding campaign focused on both the infrastructure and the people. Enacting this legislation means that jobs will created, it means that small and medium sized businesses will be able to prosper and it means that Haiti will have a road map for long term economic development.
This will undoubtedly be a long process, but I am fully committed to it because I believe in the idea. Enterprise Funds can be a powerful tool in the U.S. foreign aid toolkit and with a successful Haitian-American Enterprise Fund, we can expect a new dawn for all Haitians,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.