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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Entrepreneurs are needed to rebuild Haiti, not NGOs

Yesterday, GlassFrog founder Nicole Verkindt shared her experiences and frustrations at a conference hosted by York University. Presenting her experience in Haiti as part of an expert panel, she challenged the conventional wisdom that NGO's and governments should be the ones implementing relief and rebuilding programs. While she concedes that partnership and collaboration between all parties is essential to success, she stresses that a larger part of the equation should be made up of Private Sector firms and Entrepreneurs. Her biggest complaint: "There is no fair and open process for legitimate firms with a wealth of experience and resources to compete for a contract in a relief zone." Drawing from her experiences working in the defence industry, she questions how, on such short notice, a base camp in Afghanistan can be fully erected and operational in times of war, but for something as important as disaster relief, we are seeing zero results after a year in Haiti. She credits the Department of Defence for releasing fully open, transparent requests for proposals each time they have a need. Whoever can offer the best value solution is awarded a contract. This system thrives on competition; efficiency, cost savings and, most importantly, results are guaranteed.

Below is an exclusive press release due out later today from our GlassFrog Entrepreneur. What do you think of what she is saying? What can businesses offer that NGOs and governments can't? How can all three work together to achieve success? And how can we add local firms to that equation to ensure sustainable recovery and economic benefit to the regions in need?


Press Release: GUELPH, ONTARIO- Canadian Entrepreneur Nicole Verkindt is passionate about rebuilding and reviving Haiti, but is jaded by her experiences on the ground with NGOs and frustrated by inaction and cronyism in the government. Turning over a new leaf, she has partnered with the most influential family in Haiti to bring entrepreneurial solutions to the forefront. Working with James Boulos and his company, Ultimate Haiti, her vision is to create Haitian jobs by implementing solutions inspired by the Haitian people.

"The government is failing. NGOs are slow and bureaucratic. I believe that entrepreneurs are the ones to save Haiti"


-GlassFrog Blogger Vanessa

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