Market Ready

Year: 2013
Country: Dominican Republic
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Economic Opportunity
Project Investment: $1,876.20

Project Launch:

Corozo Abajo is a small rural community in the mountains northeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic that lacks running water, stable electricity, and paved roads. The community is largely made up of cacao farmers and life is centered on the cacao harvests. With little opportunity for employment beyond farming, which is traditionally done by adult men, women are denied the opportunity to work and young people often leave the community to pursue more opportunity elsewhere. The goal of this project is to train local women in business and financial literacy and to turn their small income generating activities into a sustainable, women-led business. Currently, the women are making cacao-based products such as wine of chocolate, chocolate marmalades, and roasted chocolate seeds, but they are not generating any profit. This project will support them in their efforts to gain legal registration for their business, to improve the efficiency of their production process, and to acquire better machinery to ensure quality control. It will also support their efforts to grow their business by developing a brand identity and connecting with larger markets.   Project Update The group is now legally registered, allowing them to enter into formal markets. The women currently sell in two venues, an organic market in the capital and a tourist attraction in the East. They also have a third interested client. With the help of new equipment, such as scales, thermometers, and a food Cuisinart to make jams, they are more efficient in following recipes and have cut down the process time significantly. The women have been to six promotional fairs, allowing them to sell their products to different audiences. The women have made a logo that is now printed on every label as well as a sign outside of the business workspace. All of these successes have contributed to an overall increase in sales and promotion of their business. The women have taken a business entrepreneurial course, which focused on accounting and bookkeeping, and will begin computer classes in January (on a computer that was donated to the group) to help advance their accounting and webpage maintenance skills.   Testimonials


"This project has served as a spark that jumpstarted the women's own ambitions and desires. They are working two days a week making products. They are more organized with the accounting as well as production. Because of the more organized accounting, they can see their money better and are reinvesting in the business. It's been amazing to see." - Samantha, Peace Corps Volunteer

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