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A Winner in Haiti

Recently named TED Fellow Peter Hass, Founder and CEO of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) announced the winner of AIDG’s Haiti business plan competition.  

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Recently named TED Fellow Peter Hass, Founder and CEO of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) announced the winner of AIDG’s Haiti business plan competition.  

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“We are excited to invest in COOPEN, a new business enterprise in Cap Haitien that will sell biodigesters to the 1,500 members of COOPEN’s agricultural co-op.  Families will benefit from this low cost fuel for heating, cooking, and waste management.  COOPEN will then buy back the effluent – the by-product of biogas production, and vermicompost the effluent to produce a higher quality product that they can sell on the agricultural market.”   

AIDG is providing COOPEN with its first grant and low interest loan, along with business and engineering training and technical assistance at this earliest and most challenging stage of COOPEN’s start-up.  Haas explains that “through business incubation, education, and outreach, AIDG helps people get access to electricity, sanitation, and clean water to better their health and improve their lives.” 

AIDG incubates small businesses in Haiti and Guatemala that adopt new technologies developed at MIT, Stanford, and the University of Michigan.  AIDG’s first successful investment was XelaTeco, established in Guatemala in 2005, and now providing electricity to families in their homes.  In addition to micro-hydroelectric products, XelaTeco produces biodigesters, windmills, high efficiency stoves, pumps, water filters, and solar LED lighting systems.   

Following COOPEN’s recent win in Haiti, AIDG’s next business competition will be held in Guatemala.  

Using strong business models and renewable energy technologies, AIDG effectively fights poverty through economic development and environmental sustainability. 


 

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 biodigester in Haiti

About the author

Korngold provides strategy consulting to global corporations on sustainability, facilitating corporate-nonprofit partnerships, and training and placing hundreds of business executives on NGO/nonprofit boards for 20+ years. She provides strategy and board governance consulting to NGO/nonprofit boards, foundations, and educational and healthcare institutions. Korngold's latest book is "A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot," published by Palgrave Macmillan for release on 1/7/14

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