By Caroline Sachdeva
2017 YLAI Fellow Marie Flore Morett, owner of Delices de Marie Florett, has worked to create a welcoming community in Haiti to empower women to seek employment opportunities and work to decrease the job and wage inequalities present in Haiti. Marie strives to inspire other women to challenge stereotypical roles in the home and in turn help their communities by promoting economic prosperity.
Marie began volunteering locally early in life, which created a passion for creating a change in her community. Originally volunteering with single mothers, Marie noticed the systemic ways in which women in her country were disadvantaged, and came up with the idea to start a business that seeks to lessen these disadvantages for women in Haiti.
The YLAI Network team asked Marie a few questions about her organization, her commitment to decreasing systemic job inequalities for women, and of course, her delicious sweets and their impact in her community.
Passion in the workplace
For Marie, creating is imperative. Working in Haiti, where there are traditionally only a few main standardized recipes, allows a lot of room for innovative ideas in her baking. Marie bases all of her recipes on these traditional Haitian confectionaries and uses her energetic personality as a foundation for exploring new flavors and textures.
Although her ingredients may have an unusual flavor profile (like adding chili pepper to one of her sweets), they are a big hit in the community for their innovative and unique taste.
Empowering women’s employment
Marie always finds a way to link her community and business together, ensuring that her goal of lessening job inequality is making progress locally. Marie says that Delices by Marie Flore Morett provides information about different learning or professional opportunities for women and motivates women to apply to these positions or continue learning.
Many women in Haiti choose to stay home and tend to their families and may be unaware of the existing opportunities for women to obtain employment. Although there is a disparity of job opportunities for women as compared to men, Delices works to encourage the breakdown or some of these societal and systemic barriers, motivating more women to apply for jobs and realize their value to their community.
She works with other small businesses in her area to share the various business resources, such as marketing, planning, and funding, that she has learned through her YLAI Fellowship experience to create better job prospects for women in her community and stimulate economic prosperity.
Advice for YLAI Network members
“Be open,” Marie advises. She also emphasizes the importance of creating a business or organization with the goal of making a profit; “… if you can’t make money, you can’t help your community,” she believes. Marie notes the importance of focusing on human resources and on learning from other people. Learning from others, either in your community or professionally, is key to business expansion and success.
Future business expansion
Marie’s five-year plan has her creating a stable enough foundation for Delices to be run by another woman and taking a step back to explore new ventures that could also increase women’s employment opportunities. Her passion for helping women will continue to grow as she ultimately works towards women’s financial independence and community growth in Haiti.
YLAI has helped Marie to interact with other professionals around the globe and has had a great impact on the way she views her business. Thanks to her connections with other business owners and her perseverance, Marie is now looking to share her unique sweets with people around the globe.
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.
Este artículo está disponible en español.