Discover Haiti’s Entrepreneurs & Businesses:
Katleen Jeanty: Founder/Owner; PDG Madan BelFwi Fruit Mixes
As a young girl growing up in Haiti, Katleen Jeanty could never imagine leaving such a wonderful place. Through her eyes, there was no better place to live than in Haiti. However, the reality of living in Haiti in the late 80’s was drastically different from how Ms. Jeanty saw it in her beloved island country. The level of political insecurity at the time was so high that it caused her family to leave Haiti and relocate to the United States.
As Ms. Jeanty got accustomed to life in the U.S., she never gave up on her hope that she would one day go back to her homeland. For 25 years, Ms. Jeanty waited for the “right” time to come back home and support her country. That time came after 2010’s devastating earthquake. While working in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Boston, helping hundreds affected by the earthquake, Ms. Jeanty decided that she wanted to help Haitians in Haiti, all the while being a part of Haiti’s reconstruction.
As a result, Ms. Jeanty searched for employment opportunities in Haiti that could benefit from her years of experience in Communications and Public Relations. She found a post as the Communications & Outreach Manager with an international non-profit social enterprise that trains people in developing countries how to design and build earthquake-resistant houses. It is while working for this organization that the idea of starting BelFwi first came to Ms. Jeanty, as she had a craving for some cold, refreshing cut up fruit, served in hygienically safe conditions, but was unable to find it easily. As such, Ms. Jeanty started BelFwi to take advantage of Haiti’s abundant natural fruit supply that go to waste every year due to poor cultivation, transportation and packaging, in order to create employment opportunities for the country’s unemployed.
In July 2013, Ms. Jeanty’s hard work with BelFwi was recognized when she was selected one of the 10 finalists of Technoserve’s Mon Entreprise, Mon Avenir (MEMA) Business Plan Competition, where she won $10,000 for BelFwi. In February 2014, BelFwi was unanimously voted the winner of the Investor’s Tank Business Plan Competition at the Haiti Renewal Alliance (HRA) Business Investment Expo. Ms. Jeanty strongly believes that she is now on her way to realizing her personal dream of creating employment opportunities for 1,000 Haitians, while developing a global brand that will help to sell a better image of her beloved home.
Madan BelFwi Fruit Mixes is open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily and is located at 49, Angle Rues Louverture et Grégoire Pétion-Ville. Reach Belfwi by phone at 2811-1234
Link to the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BelfwiFruitMixes
Discover Haiti’s Entrepreneurs and Businesses, a feature developed by the Embassy of Haiti, introduces readers to the many talents that Haiti offers. The Embassy will regularly highlight Haiti’s entrepreneurs and businesses. Inclusion in this feature does not imply an endorsement of the person, business or service. If you would like to nominate a Haitian entrepreneur for this feature, please submit their name and bio along with your contact information using the comment section of our website feedback form. Thank you for your continued support.