Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grant to Inveneo will bring Connectivity to Rural Communities
December 7, 2010 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a grant of $742,688 to Inveneo, a nonprofit social enterprise. The funding will accelerate the development of a wireless broadband Internet network in six rural regions across Haiti. In addition to enabling rural communities with high-speed connections, Inveneo will provide Internet connectivity that will stimulate economic growth and support decentralization of the economy. Within 18 months, management and responsibility for the network will be turned over to local Haitian partners.
The project, developed in collaboration with Microsoft and The EKTA Foundation, will deploy a high-speed, broadband wireless network in 20 rural population centers and provide technology for 40 schools throughout Haiti. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund grant will also support training programs for Haitian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) entrepreneurs. Increased network capacity will give ICT entrepreneurs the opportunity to serve a variety of clientele and to build up the local IT sector. Haitian IT specialists will have the opportunity to hone their expertise, preparing them to help their nation build back better.
Inveneo’s program is bringing connectivity to formerly isolated communities through an innovative coalition of organizations that include Haitian-owned Internet Services Providers, NetHope, the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance and many other organizations and donors.
“The power of this program is that in addition to enabling rural communities with high-speed connections, we are also providing Internet connectivity that can be resold to Haitian Internet cafes, community organizations and other businesses, stimulating economic growth. Just as important, turning over networks to Haitian ISPs and training Haitian technicians will lay the building blocks for Haitians to own and grow these services,” according to Gary Edson, CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
“We are grateful to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund for this grant. Though our work in Africa and Asia, we have seen that developing local capacity to manage and own in-country information and communications technologies is a key driver of economic growth. The investment in Inveneo’s network helps us deliver this key economic driver to rural parts of Haiti exactly when they need it most,” said Kristin Peterson, Co-Founder and CEO of Inveneo.
Inveneo’s work will build on its efforts immediately following Haiti’s devastating earthquake when Inveneo wirelessly connected many members of NetHope, a consortium of major international NGOs. Several weeks later, Inveneo had ultimately connected 18 NGO offices in 35 locations by partnering with technology organizations on the ground, such as Haitian ISPs Multilink and Access Haiti. After a few months of operation, Inveneo turned this network over to the Haitian Technology Group, a local firm trained by Inveneo engineers and dedicated to providing quality IT services to the Haitian market.
Inveneo is a nonprofit social enterprise whose mission is connecting and empowering rural and underserved communities with information and communications technologies. Inveneo’s model of nurturing and supporting local talent to support technical systems has been successfully implemented around the world. Since 2006, Inveneo and its partners have delivered innovative solutions to more than 1,500,000 people in over 500 communities in 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Their Haiti program is an accelerated version of this model, as demand for the broadband service to-date has outpaced the supply of local IT experts.
About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti’s January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead a major fundraising effort to assist the Haitian people to “build back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund initially responded to the catastrophe with millions in humanitarian relief. By the time the Fund was officially formed in May 2010, it transitioned to primarily serving its longer-term mission of sustainable reconstruction efforts designed to promote jobs and economic opportunity, empowering Haiti to chart its own successful future.