Small Business, Big Debts In Haiti

A woman carries a large bucket of goods on her head in Haiti.

Yvrose Jean Baptiste carries a bucket of chicken necks for sale in Haiti. Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR



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On today's Planet Money:

We meet Yvrose Jean Baptiste, a small-time Haitian wholesaler, with a unique business model. Yvrose borrows money from a microcredit bank and every two weeks takes a bus to the Dominican Republic border, where she buys a bunch of produce and products to bring back to Port-au-Prince. She then lends out her goods out to various small shop owners and people who sell things on the street. She gives them two weeks to sell everything and then comes back to pick up the money.

Yrose says it's been a successful model in the past, but the earthquake has been a big hit to her business. Most of her inventory has been destroyed and now she has to scramble to pay the loan back.

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