By Shannon Courtney
To preserve and protect the Earth for our communities, we must make a collective investment to ensure that generations of global citizens have access to clean and healthy environments. Entrepreneurs from all over the world are leading the way and demonstrating that the time to care and act is now.
As part of our YLAI Goes Green campaign, we are excited to highlight the businesses and hard work of two YLAI Fellows from the Caribbean who are paving the way for a greener future.
Smile Urban Farm and Recycling Center (SUFARC) in Haiti
2022 YLAI Fellow Wilnes Clement is the CEO of Smile Urban Farm and Recycling Center (SUFARC), a company that advocates for zero waste throughout cities in Haiti. The company offers technical support for recycling and the creation of urban gardens in Haiti. Upon returning to Haiti after receiving his master’s degree, Wilnes saw the negative impact of deforestation in the region on charcoal production and the waste throughout these communities. Through his company, Wilnes uplifts those in the community — young people, disabled people and retirees — affected by deforestation and the lack of fresh produce.
Wilnes believes that climate change is an essential and urgent topic for businesses to address. “The environment is for all of us, globally. If you’re doing something locally and every person is doing something in their area, then globally it will have a very beneficial impact,” says Wilnes. In the next five years and through the YLAI Fellowship, Wilnes aims to expand SUFARC throughout Haiti and to encourage more individuals to recycle, be more responsible for their waste, and implement urban gardening.
Tropical Hives Limited in Trinidad and Tobago
2022 YLAI Fellow Nikita Legall is the managing director of Tropical Hives, a sustainable development company that produces honey and its byproducts. Tropical Hives manages its own apiaries and works with various beekeepers across the country to bring pure, quality honey to customers.
After Nikita learned of the effect of pesticides on bees and became more aware of what goes into the food we consume, she began growing more of her own food at home and documented the journey on social media under Ah-Grow. Ah-Grow serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in growing their own food, with in-depth articles from local agricultural entrepreneur partners.
Nikita says that “as the country grapples with foreign exchange availability and rising food prices, we have a responsibility to use our skill to highlight local agricultural inputs (seeds, fish fertilizers, soil amendments), while giving people the tools and resources to grow more of their food at home.” Nikita’s goal is to “encourage people to grow more food in whatever space they have and increase the consumption of local produce. By eating and consuming more food locally, the consumer can access fresher, safer, more nutritious produce.”
Thank you Wilnes and Nikita! Head over to YLAI Goes Green to learn more about what you can do to make your business more sustainable and get inspiration from other entrepreneurs in your region.
The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YLAI Network or the U.S. government.