Magalie Noel Dresse at the Latin Trade Bravo Award.

Magalie won the Latin Trade Bravo Award’s Innovative Social Sustainability Award in 2013. 

“I strongly believe that socially responsible businesses have an important role to play in the development of our societies and in the global economy.”

Magalie Noel Dresse’s speech:

“Well, this is quite a surprise: being President Clinton's friend.

I would like to thank tonight the Latin Trade organization for this special award. It is a great honor for me to accept it.

I receive this award with humility: if I am here tonight, it is because of the talent and the drive of the artists and artisans of my country. It is also because I strongly believe that socially responsible businesses have an important role to play in the development of our societies and in the global economy. Companies like Caribbean Craft can greatly contribute to building Haiti from inside out by identifying our assets and strengthening our networks.

Bringing back the craft export numbers to what it was in the 1970's, and way beyond, is my dream... and this will only be possible if we are less divided from within.

This is why I will be taking home this award to all Haitian men and women working in such a difficult sector. Pri sa'a se pou nou tout! This award is for all of us! It shows us that our work is appreciated; our efforts not in vain. It should give us the strength to remain focused and create more job opportunities for our talented crafts people.

This long term project would not be possible without the commitment of our supporters and partners and I would like to thank tonight: President Bill Clinton and his team for their continuous guidance and support, for introducing many new accounts to Haiti and for all the work that they will certainly be doing by our side in the coming years. I would like to thank our buyers, including: West Elm, TOMS Shoes, Anthropologie, HomeGoods, VivaTerra, Tesoros Trading and so many more companies that we have enjoyed working with over the past few years. You are greatly contributing to restoring hope and creating sustainable jobs for our artisans.

I will also take a moment to send a message to all members of our Haitian government: the arts and crafts sector has been neglected and forgotten for too long. Just like we don't sell enough of our touristic destinations, we don't sell enough of our craft. The market is very responsive and it is time for us to organize the offer.

In order to address our high unemployment rate within the arts and crafts communities, we need to work closer with one another. Entrepreneurs, investors and state authorities need to implement the right mechanisms to address certain issues that are imposing strong barriers to local and foreign investments. It is time that some actions are taken by our government to show that they value investors in this sector. This will allow us to continue our work and expand our businesses to create more jobs and help grow the Haitian economy. Hand in hand Haitian citizens will be building this country from inside out through integration, job creation, social and community development.

As I like to say: Haiti is in everyone's heart but more importantly: Haiti is in our hands, hands of us, Haitians.

Thank you.”

Joel Dresse