On May 7th, 2018, the BEL team of the Georgia Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (GAHCCI) in partnership with the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers – Power Energy Society at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and But God Ministries launched the Solar Entrepreneurship Program. The program was a 3-day intense, hands on program that provided a group of entrepreneurs and university students from Haiti, the opportunity to explore solar entrepreneurship. The program took place in Thoman, Haiti at the Thoman Hope Center.
Solar Energy & Entrepreneurship
Participants received technical, operational training, and organized business models around solar energy. The intention was to build more entrepreneurs in Haiti who will not only capitalize on the industry’s potential, but also provide solutions to electrical and energy issues in Haiti.
Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers – Power Energy Society at Georgia Institute of Technology
In addition to introducing and teaching solar energy, system design, and business to program participants, Georgia Tech students stayed busy in the Thoman community.They installed solar panel systems to a local church and school. The Haiti Relay Team which included, Jake Smith, Jingfan Sun, Bria Matthews and Adam Kinsel, also distributed 25 Haiti Relay devices which allows residents in rural communities to gain access to lighting and the ability to charge devices like cell phones. Under the lead of Frank Lambert, the Georgia Tech team accomplished many things while in Thoman.
Georgia Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (GAHCCI) – BEL TEAM
The BEL Initiative team of the GAHCCI was intrumental in selecting and screening particpants for the program. The team assisted with the helping particpants with business model canvasses for their solar business ideas. Furthermore, the team also had the opportunity help the Haiti Relay team of Georgia tech distribute the devices families in the Thoman community, while serving as translators througout the trip. As we observed and studied the needs of the Haitian entrepreneurs and Haiti, we are constantly strategizing on how to mobilize Haitian people to solve these problems while shifting the economy in their local communities.
Sustainability in Haiti
Like the B.E.L. Initiative, the Solar Entrepreneurship Program seeks to stimulate investments, job creation, and sustainability in Haiti by driving business development, promoting entrepreneurship and cultivating transformational leadership.The GAHCCI has partnered with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers-Power Energy Society at Georgia Institute of Technology and But God Ministries to make the program possible.