Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Lagel Foundation is using a GoFundMe’s campaign to raise funds to continue developing its new marketplace app that connects vendors and buyers in Haiti. Hundreds of entrepreneurs are already successfully using the technology to grow their business and generate jobs, which is important to the economy of Haiti as it continues to recover from the catastrophic earthquake of 2010.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (PRWEB) May 09, 2018
Nonprofit startup Lagel Foundation announced today a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to extend the development of a marketplace app it launched in Haiti four months ago to connect vendors and buyers. The campaign is seeking $150,000, which the foundation will use to establish an office in Miami, Fla. and provide entrepreneurs with marketing, coaching, training and other vital resources.
Currently, hundreds of entrepreneurs are using Lagel’s world-class app to grow their business and impact the lives of others. The GoFundMe campaign will help raise money to continue with the project and expand the service to thousands more people. “Your contribution to Lagel will help make the app better, faster and more user-friendly for the thousands more who are expected to join,” said Marc Estinville, one of Lagel’s co-creators. “It will allow us more opportunity to train, mentor and develop these new entrepreneurs who are all excited about this opportunity.”
Lagel’s GoFundMe campaign is rooted in an extremely noble and personal cause. The new app is linking hundreds of entrepreneurs with 10,000 people who have downloaded it so far. The only mobile marketplace in Haiti, the proprietary app is making it more feasible for small entrepreneurs to be able to sell a variety of products and services. “Lagel opens a new world for many, and many people are depending on Lagel for their success,” Estinville said.
Betina “Betty” Monreau is a prime example. Monreau, who had to drop out of high school before completing the 11th grade, used her nut-making skills and a $50 gift from her uncle to launch a business to support her family. However, Monreau struggled to connect with customers—until she posted her products on Lagel, where she received hundreds of calls. Consequently, her production rose from 10 to 60 buckets of nuts a week. “I thank God every day for Lagel,” Monreau said. “Because of them, my little sisters and brothers never go to bed hungry.”
In addition to enhancing the lives of entrepreneurs like Monreau, Lagel’s app is having a positive impact on Haiti, as it continues to struggle to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake that claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. The disaster caused more than $14 billion worth of damage, and rebuilding efforts have not yet been completed. The app is effectively helping entrepreneurs thrive as it simultaneously helps facilitate the recovery process. Estinville explained: “For every entrepreneur who succeeds in Haiti, three jobs are created. And for every job, six members of a family get fed daily.”
From a broader objective, Lagel aims to use technology to empower the people of Haiti. The nonprofit is striving to give individuals resources so they can be better positioned to help themselves. “Haitians are not in need of a hand out,” Estinville said. “They have enough of that. What they need is a hand up. They are no longer interested in receiving fish, but learning how to fish for themselves.”
As a native of Haiti, Estinville knows full well the aspirations of Haitians. He also knows their fortitude and potential. Case in point: Lagel was founded by Estinville, along with Ally Simbert and Brunel Cherry, who survived the massive earthquake and later relocated to the United States. (Estinville was in the United States at the time of the earthquake, but lost his grandmother, aunt and several cousins.) Once in the United States, the young visionaries became fully engaged in achieving the American dream. Estinville, Simbert and Brunel received full scholarships for college and earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science. Estinville, the company’s president, holds an MBA from the University of Florida. Simbert holds a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Florida International University, while Cherry holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from St. Thomas University in Miami. Eventually, Simbert worked as a system engineer for Leidos, the largest U.S. military government software contractor. He co-founded stopoint.com, one of the first electronics trading sites with products valued over $1 million, with his high school friend, Estinville. Stopoint garnered a great deal of media attention and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CNET, and the Miami Herald.
Lagel’s development was also facilitated by Anton Vorobiev, an American friend and finance expert with an MBA from the University of Florida. Today, the members of Lagel’s management team are using their collaborative efforts to attack the core problem of Haiti—access and opportunity—with strong teaching and mentoring. They are also creating technology and dispensing it freely so people can use it to make an impact in their community. Together, they intend to bring hope not only to Haiti but also to third world countries. “The only hope of third world countries is technology,” said Simbert, Lagel’s Head of Technology. “It’s sad that these countries that really need technology do not get enough of it while, in North America, people take it for granted.”
Estinville firmly believes that Lagel is the type of innovative resource that can bring long-lasting changes for the people of Haiti by teaching them how to fish themselves and giving them the tools to succeed. Therefore, he is strongly urging people to lend their full support to the GoFundMe campaign so he can expand the impact and success of the app even further.
For more information about Lagel’s GoFundMe campaign, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/hope-for-haiti-with-technology.
Lagel is a free application that makes it easy for anyone to buy and sell products in their local community. People can use the app to upload photos of the items they want to sell and post them immediately for everyone in their neighborhood to view. Lagel also features user profiles and user ratings that help buyers and sellers learn more about each other. In addition, buyers and sellers can connect via Lagel’s newsfeed and chat instantly. The proprietary app, which was developed just four months ago, is already being used by hundreds of entrepreneurs to promote their business. Lagel was created by young Haitian visionaries who are committed to leading the technical evolution in their native country while promoting economic growth and prosperity.