Twenty-five women graduated from the first cohort of the Centre Haitien du Leadership et de l’Excellence (CLE)‘s Fanm Angaje in 2022. After the success of the program’s initial offering, the centre is now preparing for a new cohort of Haitian women in social enterprise.

CLE is one of five Engage partners in five countries working to advance gender equality and poverty reduction by enhancing women’s capacity to participate in the social and economic life of their communities through initiatives co-designed with Coady Institute and supported by Global Affairs Canada.

CLE’s Fanm Angaje Fellowship Program aims to empower young women working in economic development and/or social enterprise initiatives through technical training, skill development, mentorship, networking, and more.

Esther Chrisostome, featured in this case study video, used the fellowship as an opportunity to launch Assurdent – a social enterprise aimed at making dental care more accessible.

“For several years working in the communities, I came to realize that many people in the population do not have access to oral and dental care,” Esther explains in the video. “We can provide dental care for people at mobile clinics, at private clinics, and at home for affordable prices.”

Assurdent also offers education and teleconsultation.

“During these trainings, I learned what kind of care I should give to my health,” explains Assurdent client, Mathania. “There were a lot of things I didn’t know before. I didn’t know if I had to brush my teeth top to bottom. I didn’t know that you had to be careful with the gums. With Assurdent, I now know all of these things.”

A focus group conducted with the participants of the first cohort demonstrated its positive impact.

“One of our program participants started a radio show about dental health rights after the last residential seminar. She has become a voice in the sector by giving advice on dental care and her business is now fairly well known. She credits the course with giving her confidence and exposure to this type of platform,” says the organization in a recent report.

“Another participant, who lost the use of her lower limbs in a traffic accident at a young age, is now responsible for the national coordination of the women of the Third Voice Movement, a political party. Despite her handicap, she remains highly involved in the social and political life of her country.”

Through the focus group, participants noted some of their experiences including:

  • personal leadership development;
  • improved confidence and self-motivation;
  • improved structure and leadership for their organizations;
  • access to knowledge, resources, and support;
  • and, network building and new partnerships.

All 25 women from the first cohort have expressed a desire to support the next cohort as mentors and coaches. CLE says this is a clear marker of the success of the program in creating a supportive network of women leaders.

The second cohort starts on February 4th to mark International Development Week. As we embark on this transformative journey alongside them, we wish these entrepreneurs all the best as they set out on a mission to tackle complex social issues through innovative solutions. 

“The first cohort of the program has shown significant improvement in their leadership and confidence levels, as well as their ability to create impactful social changes in their community; they are not only seeking profitability for their social enterprises, but are also looking to make a positive impact in their community.”

Centre Haïtien du Leadership et de L’Excellence

More Fanm Angaje Case Studies

Daphnée Valmond Bourgoin is the founder and CEO of Tisaksuk, an artisan-made clothing store featuring hand-painted designs and inclusive sizing. After opening a store and workshop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Daphnée is now opening a second location in Florida, USA.

Jovana Legagneur is the founder and CEO of Natural, a company that creates and sells items made with natural ingredients including soaps, wines and liquors, seasonings, and more. She is growing her team and working to add new products such as lotions and other skincare items.

(Cover image courtesy of Assurdent’s Facebook page.)