I had a conversation with Nathalie Liautaud, PADF (Pan American Development Foundation) Manager, Diaspora and Investment Outreach of The Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program.
The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of SMEs to engage in best business practices, attract foreign and Diaspora investments, grow businesses, create jobs, and generate income.
LEAD will use a grant matching mechanism to leverage private investments in Haitian SMEs identified through business plan competitions, and will collaborate with the Haitian Diaspora community to channel remittances to viable social enterprises and community projects, increasing their internal sustainability and external impact.
In addition, LEAD will work with the Haitian Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere to engage them in targeted philanthropic activities, social businesses, and innovative ways to use a portion of remittances to further the development impact of these resources.
Prior to joining PADF, she was a program director at Caribbean Central American Action (C-CAA).
She was also a program coordinator for the Centre pour la Libre Entreprise et la Democratie (CLED)’s media and civil society outreach policy and discussion program, focusing on raising awareness on competitiveness issues, and served as technical advisor at the Associations des Industries d’Haiti (ADIH), focusing on labor issues.
Nathalie has worked on environmental issues and economic development and has conducted research and evaluations of behavioral risk factors and other topics, working with the Office of Survey Research at the University of Texas at Austin.
She also has experience working with media companies, logging time at MTV Latino in Miami, among others. She graduated with Bachelor of Science in radio-television-film and earned an MA in Latin American Studies and in international communications from UT Austin. Nathalie is Haitian-American-Mexican, grew up in Haiti, and is fluent in French, English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
LEAD will operate in the three USG development corridors: Cap-Haïtien, Saint-Marc, and Port-au-Prince. The project will target industries and businesses with the greatest potential to create jobs, including construction, tourism, agribusiness, and alternative energy. The project will also focus on encouraging job creation for women, as women’s entrepreneurship enhances economic growth and improves household well-being, as well as for those with disabilities and are therefore particularly vulnerable.