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Biography

Biography

Born in Gonaïves, Haiti, Daniel spent his childhood seeing first-hand the efforts, successes, and failures of the aid industry in Haiti.

Attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia on a scholarship from the Turnbull Leadership Program, Daniel studied business administration with a concentration in leadership, and this education helped him to understand the patterns he’d begun to recognize back home.

11 years after graduations, he received, last May, an honorary doctorate degree in Business last May from the same University.

Upon returning to Haiti in 2006, Daniel noticed a paradox: despite the best of intentions and decades of experience, the broader field of humanitarian NGOs and development initiatives had failed to lift his country out of poverty.

Today, drawing from a wealth of experience as a small-business owner, development professional, investor, and educator, Daniel has an answer.

The only way to end the global cycle of poverty is to empower people to meet their own needs profitably and sustainably. As Daniel says in the documentary Poverty Inc., “No one wants to be a beggar for life.”

Daniel Jean-Louis is an international speaker on business-driven growth in the developing world. He has shared his ideas in over 15 countries around the world including Ecuador, Guatemala, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Thailand, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Speaking at churches and colleges, Daniel shares insights gleaned from hands-on experience in the fight against poverty with diverse, global audiences.

He lives in Port-au-Prince with his wife and two children.

 

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

Throughout his career, Daniel’s work has been driven by the idea that job creation is the best strategy for eliminating poverty.

From 2009-2014, Daniel served as country manager for Partners Worldwide, a 501c3 dedicated to ending poverty through enterprise. He was instrumental in launching the 100K Jobs initiative, equipping NGOs and Haitian businesses to partner together and meet local demand. Since its inception, the project has created over 15,000 jobs on its journey to create 100,000 new jobs by 2020. Daniel continues to serve on the project’s board and train Partners Worldwide’s business coaches.

In March 2016, Daniel published his first book, From Aid to Trade, which examines how aid can hurt, and how agencies can rethink their development approaches to help break the cycle of poverty. When organizations transact locally, they can create the jobs people need to support their families. More information about this campaign to transform aid and development around the world can be found at www.fromaidtotrade.org.

Putting his concepts into practice, Daniel founded Trinity Lodge, a small-business providing affordable short-term housing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; is a co-founder of Bridge Capital, a private investment firm that helps local businesses finance projects and compete for contracts; and he serves as a professor of business at Quisquéya University and the Haitian State University.

As an educator, entrepreneur, investor, and speaker, Daniel hopes that his ideas will help bring industry back to Haiti and begin to restore the nation.

 

Engagement

In 2017, Daniel received his honorary doctorate degree with sitting US president in attendance.

In 2017, Daniel delivered a remarkable TEDx message to the 15 million people subscribed to the TEDx platform worldwide. His message of ‘Job for Haiti and the developing world’ is being received widely with outstanding enthusiasm.

In 2017, Daniel also spoke at the Leadership Summit alongside Bill Hybels. Many other renown personalities in the world have shared this same platform including Melinda Gates and others.

In 2017 Daniel visited is received as a guest lecture at Tulane University in New Orleans where he lectured for faculty and staff as well as presenting his new economic development approach ‘OBED’ presented in his book.

The same year he toured several colleges in West Michigan where he spoke about the issues of entrepreneurship and its role in eradicating poverty. During this visit he spoke at Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Hope College as well as addressed community members through a town Hall meeting.

In 2016, Daniel visited the Chapel Church in Indiana to discuss opportunity-based development approaches in Haiti.

In 2016, Daniel was invited to Notre Dame University in Indiana to discuss OBED with over 500 students, faculty, and members of the community.In 2015, Daniel joined Magatte Wade and Mark Weber for a panel discussion at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. The group discussed the aid-to-trade concept in the context of the 2014 documentary Poverty, Inc.

In 2015, Daniel spoke about the role of business in eliminating poverty with Cuenca Partners, an affiliate of Partners Worldwide, in Ecuador.

In 2013, Daniel visited the Lake Valley Church in Arkansas to discuss the challenges of starting and running a business in Haiti and the developing world.

In 2013, Daniel visited Thailand to discuss Haiti’s potential for aid-driven economic growth at the Business as Mission Network Conference.

In 2011, Daniel spoke in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Marketplace Revolution Conference hosted by Partners Worldwide.

Daniel has also attended several showings of the 2014 documentary, Poverty, Inc., which featured him as a development expert. Daniel hosts viewings, gives short presentations, and conducts Q&A’s around the film.

Liberty University's 44th Commencement Ceremony is held on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Leah Seavers)