The Haiti Integrated Financing for Value Chains and Enterprises (HIFIVE) program, funded by USAID (2009 – 2015), was designed to expand financial inclusion by increasing the availability of financial products and services to individual entrepreneurs and to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in targeted value chains in semi-urban and rural areas of Haiti.
Under HIFIVE, WOCCU managed a large grant fund, the HIFIVE Catalyst Fund (HCF), to invest in locally developed solutions and stimulated capacity building for commercial banks, credit unions (known as caisse populaires in Haiti), microfinance institutions (MFIs), and payment providers; as a result, HIFIVE leveraged previously unseen momentum in the space of financial services in Haiti. In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HIFIVE furthered its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) objective through the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) by incentivizing the launch of mobile payment services by Haitian banks and mobile network operators (MNOs) following the January 2010 earthquake.
A catalyst and facilitator, HIFIVE’s approach to increasing financial inclusion through local institutions was highly effective and sustainable. HIFIVE partners, including banks, credit unions, MFIs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), technology providers, insurance companies, and MNOs, have targeted high potential agricultural value chains and harnessed the use of technology to develop new products and expand into previously underserved markets. Critical to the success of HIFIVE has been its ability to create synergies and leverage the work of other USAID-funded agricultural programs and to change financial institutions’ perception of risk and the profitability of the rural and agricultural sector through strong local engagement. More than 1 million Haitians have benefited from HIFIVE’s work.