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A woman carries a large bucket of goods on her head in Haiti. (Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR)

Small Business, Big Debts In Haiti

by Caitlin Kenney
Feb 16, 2010

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Caitlin Kenney

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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