Why Partnership? Venise’s Story

Michele Edwards | July 12, 2017 | Client Stories, Local Institutions

Without access to training, capital, or support, starting a business can be next to impossible. Venise knew that all too well.

When she first started her fashion business in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she struggled to make it profitable. After a failed attempt at buying and reselling clothing, Venise started making and selling her own creations.

She knew how to create items using macramé, a type of decorative textile, and decided she would make macramé sandals for men and women.

Though an improvement from her first business, Venise’s macramé business still had its challenges. At first, she only sold around three pairs of sandals per month, plus her lack of business experience made it hard for her to turn a profit.

Then in 2016, Venise met the leader of our partner REPP in Port-au-Prince.

At REPP, she found the support she needed, while learning valuable practices that would transform the way she was running her business.

By attending monthly meetings and participating in the Partners Worldwide Business Training, Venise learned how to manage credit, keep financial records, and price her products. With these new practices in place, her business began to grow.

Through the connections with REPP, Venise has also been able to meet new clients and participate in local fairs to sell her products. With increased revenue, she purchased new equipment that will speed up production. As a result of Venise’s business growth, she is now able to employ herself full time!

In order to give back and support other young entrepreneurs, Venise now serves as the Secretary of REPP.

She has also been instrumental in creating the REPP Center—a space that offers training, hosts mentoring sessions, and sells REPP member’s products. The Center has opened up new opportunities for REPP, especially as their organization grows.

In addition to serving with REPP, Venise also uses her business to give back. She creates jobs by employing other local artisans and teaches girls who are unable to attend school how to make macramé. She is passionate about serving her clients and sharing with them the word of God.

When Venise first began her business, she lacked access to the resources needed to be successful. Yet with support and encouragement, she was able to not only grow a sustainable business—but also give back.

For Venise, and thousands of other business leaders in our global network, work and worship are one. Business is an opportunity to model servant-leadership, share the love of God, and foster dignity by creating jobs.

When leaders like Venise live in to their potential and use their God-given gifts for good, their impact has a ripple effect. Sometimes it just takes the support of a partnership to unlock it.

Michele Edwards

Michele Edwards

Haiti Country Coordinator

Staunton, Virginia

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