President Bill Clinton, Frank Giustra and Carlos Slim Launch a 20 million Dollar Fund for Small and Medium-Size Firms (SMFs) in Haiti
Investments will be lined up with Haiti’s priorities
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. June 17, 2010. President Bill Clinton and philanthropists Frank Giustra and Carlos Slim, being accompanied by Haitian Government officials, announced today the establishment of an innovative $20 million dollar fund for financing both small and medium size firms (SMFs) in Haiti through both Clinton Foundation and Carlos Slim Foundation.
“The fund we are announcing today recognizes that the most important role small-and-medium-size firms do play is building a self-sustainable modern economy which will allow Haiti to stand on its own feet one day”, President Clinton said. “With this fund we hope to support entrepreneurs with tools to transform their aims, hard work and good ideas into profitable business that create jobs and help fuelling the Haitian economy growth.”
Carlos Slim said: “Jobs stand for the way poverty gets abated and human beings dignified. Both small and medium size firms stand for those creating most and diversified job opportunities, as well as both human and business development; by investing capital and giving access to commercial credit, SMFs viability increases, and they become more efficient while their growth accelerates.”
“We are pleased and excited in working with Haiti’s people in rebuilding their own country”, Mr. Giustra explained. In lining up this fund with local needs and priorities, we are offering Haiti’s businessmen the means they need to put their talent and will to work during the months and years ahead. We’ve seen a real optimist spirit here and that’s definitely captivating.”
This Fund will allow capital and financing for Haiti’s SMFs currently lacking access to traditional capital markets, with a specific focus on job creation. The Fund will be market-driven and will seek financial returns for its investments, as well as for the fund as a whole, and profits will be re-invested in the fund itself to make additional future investments. Neither President Clinton, nor Carlos Slim Foundation will derive profits from the Fund. The Fund and its investments will be lined up with the Haitian government’s priorities, their institutions, and processes, including the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) and its procedures. The Fund will seek to collaborate with local institutions and provide technical assistance to those business in which it invests. The Fund will also welcome additional investors.
This announcement reinforces President Clinton’s long-term efforts to help Haitian business grow. On October 2009, at the request of the Haitian Government and along with IDB, President Clinton summoned a private sector conference gathering more than 600 potential investors.
The Fund will be managed by a Fund Manager and a Management Committee.
It should be stressed that this contributing Fund is separated and additional to the ongoing aid the Carlos Slim Foundation in channeling to the Haitian people out of the economical contribution from more than 120 thousands Mexicans, a contribution that has been doubled by the Carlos Slim Foundation itself. These contributions are already being used in building two school buildings and a hospital, 5,000 tents (for 60,000 persons), 2,000 wheel-chairs, 600 fresh-water tanks for tents (870,000 liters capacity), besides aid sent during the emergency period.
About the William J. Clinton Foundation
Founded by President Bill Clinton, the William J. Clinton Foundation is devoted to look after worldwide issues in need of urgent action, solutions and measurable results: global climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world, childhood obesity and economic opportunities in the United States, and economic development in Africa and Latin America. For more information: www.clintonfoundation.org.
About the Carlos Slim Foundation
For about 24 years, the Carlos Slim Foundation has been devoted to carry out high social-impact actions, mainly in the fields of nutrition, health, education, culture, scientific research, social justice, environment, natural disasters, sports, and urban renewal, as well as credit and capital access for micro, small and medium size firms. More information in: www.carlosslim.org.