Kreyòl Essence is a social business creating critical new jobs in rural Haiti, a nation still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake and suffering from 40% unemployment.
The company plans to expand the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of eco-luxury beauty products made from Haitian black castor oil, following a successful pilot program earlier this year. These products are farmed by Haitians, bottled by Haitians and exported by Haitians.
Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the father of microcredit, has endorsed Kreyòl Essence for funding on Kiva. All profits Kreyòl Essence makes are reinvested in the business itself to increase its social impact where it matters most: with women and farmers in Haiti.
This loan will enable Kreyòl Essence to create new jobs for Haitian farmers to grow castor plants, and new jobs for women to make castor oil from its seeds. Kreyòl Essence will focus especially on employing women, and make sure that all their employees receive fair wages and benefits. They expect to repay the loan in seven years.
Funding on Kiva will allow Kreyòl Essence to access capital that is difficult to get through traditional banks in Haiti, because the loan size is too small to be profitable for a bank. You can learn more about small and medium enterprise loans on Kiva here.
In addition to job creation, Kreyòl Essence also helps to address Haiti’s problem of deforestation and soil erosion. Haiti’s forested lands have been reduced to less than 2%. By cultivating castor oil plants, Kreyòl Essence helps to protect the surrounding area from erosion.
The castor oil plant used in the company’s products is one of the few perennials able to grow and repair depleted soils with limited rainfall and minimal agricultural inputs. Kreyòl Essence aims to plant over 40,000 castor oil plants in the next 3 years, helping to stem the tide of soil erosion.
About Yunus Social Business (YSB)
Co-founded by Nobel Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, Yunus Social Business (YSB) , is the international implementation arm for social business, headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. Its primary activity is to initiate and manage Social Business Incubator Funds that create livelihoods and employment opportunities in vulnerable and underserved communities by supporting market-orientated and self-sustainable social businesses that are designed to address a pressing social need.
YSB is raising funds for its social businesses on Kiva. Because large amounts of credit are required, some social business loans will be raised only partially on Kiva, with the rest of the money coming from other investors in YSB.