Vendedy, Iron Market, Digicel, Haiti

J Rêve collaborates with Vendedy in Haiti, pilots an international street artisan online marketplace; Forbes 30 under 30

 

Haiti, Vendedy, ESIH
Vendedy delegation at the Ecole SIH School in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
Vendedy, Iron Market, Digicel, Haiti
Vendedy team and local Digicel Volunteers at the historic Iron Market in Haiti

The concept of Vendedy is to create an online platform for international street vendors to sell their crafts, using a bidding process and the developing mobile payout technologies.  The project has garnered much attention since its development earlier this year by Souffrant, who was completing her MA in International Business at the Hult School of International Business, in Dubai.  Cofield and Souffrant met at Hult in January during a social entrepreneurship conference hosted at the school by the CYRUS Institute of Knowledge.  Vendedy was selected by the Clinton Foundation as a poverty alleviation project, and the platform is being developed in part by IBM.   September 2014, J Rêve founder Jacqueline Cofield traveled to Port Au Prince, Haiti with a team invited by Vendedy International CEO Christine Souffrant.  The goal was to launch the first of a series of international pilots for the Vendedy platform across the Caribbean, which is scheduled to have an official online launch in 2015.

Hult Business School, Dubai, Jacqueline Cofield, Christine Souffrant
Jacqueline Cofield, Christine Souffrant and students at Hult International Business School, Dubai
Digicel, Vendedy, Haiti
Vendedy Haiti team member Daphnee Charles and Digicel volunteer interviewing vendors at the Iron Market, Port Au Prince.

The Haiti 2014 delegation included a team of experts across the financial (Deborah Hope, former chief risk and business ethics officer for global investment management at Prudential Financial), social entrepreneurship (Tena and Joshua Rajkumar, co-founders of The Sustainability Platform), and creative fields (J Rêve), selected by Souffrant to initiate the grassroots local campaign in Port Au Prince and establish relationships with prospective partners, such as Digicel, and various educational institutions whose business students would be interested in collaborating with the start-up locally.

Frantz Providence, Haiti, Vendedy, J Reve
Close-up of artwork by Haitian artist Frantz Providence
Vendedy, Christine Souffrant, Haiti
Salnave Joël, at the Iron Market in Port Au Prince, Haiti
Jacqueline Cofield, Haiti, Vendedy, Frantz Providence
Artist Frantz Providence shows his sculpture to Jacqueline Cofield.
Frantz Providence, Vededy, Haiti
Artist Frantz Providence shows his sculpture to the Vendedy team

Souffrant’s parents are from Port-Au Prince, and relocated nearly 30 years ago to New York, where Christine was born, though she was raised between Haiti and New York.  Her mother was a street vendor, therefore she was exposed as a young child to the market and the impact sales has on the daily life of vendors.  This is not only a social good project, it is personal for Souffrant and she is passionate to give street vendors the opportunity to elevate their standard of living through participation in the Vendedy platform.  Attending a meeting with the locals, hearing their stories, as well as the vendors, one quickly observes the potential impact the project has and also how it is also being called a movement.  Haiti is interestingly a test market for product launches across the Caribbean.  Digicel generously supported and participated in the pilot, offering staff members, supporting volunteers with needed arrangements at the Iron Market to conduct a series of vendor interviews and product evaluations, and communication “credit” for making calls using digicel operated phones.  Not only is Digicel the leading telecom company in Haiti, it has also developed a pay-out service, which makes it a highly desirable partner for the Vendedy project across the Caribbean.

Christine Souffrant, Haiti, Vendedy, Jacqueline Cofield
Vendedy delegation with the founder of HELPR (Haiti Education and Leadership Program) school in Haiti
HELPR, Haiti, Vendedy, Haitian Education & Leadership Program headquarters
Haitian Education & Leadership Program headquarters
Vendedy, Helpr, Haiti, Christine Souffrant, Jacqueline Cofield,
Vendedy delegation with business students at Helpr school in Port Au Prince.
Jacqueline Cofield, Haiti, Vendedy
Jacqueline Cofield speaking to the business students at Haitian Education & Leadership Program school headquarters
Vendedy, Fonkoze, Haiti
Vendedy team attends Fonkoze meeting, microlender to Haitian women in business
Vendedy, Tcho Tcho
Vendedy delegation visits offices in Tcho Tcho, lender to microenterprises.

Cofield was thrilled to have J Rêve International participate in the pilot of Vendedy in Haiti because it aligns with the mission and vision of J Rêve projects, involves creators, artists, craftsmen, microenterprise, youth entrepreurship, education and business development. Cofield liased with various artists and intends to return and explore the arts communities more in depth, as well as develop a branch of the Revved Up adolescent kid program.   To learn more about Vendedy, please visit the website www.vendedy.com.  Christine Souffrant, founder of Vendedy, was among those selected for the 2016 Forbes 30 under 30.  Congratulations!

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