Growing a Social Business in The Dominican Republic

Over the past 3 years, EverGift and its long time friend, The DREAM Project, located the Dominican Republic, have been slowly cooking up the idea of partnership. In Fall 2013, everything fell together when a very special group of students entered The DREAM Project’s A Ganar program, a Partners of the Americas program focusing on reintegrating at-risk-youth into school or work. Twelve women were chosen to go through caregiver training; upon completion of the program in June 2014, each will have certifications from the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health as well as English language classes and Montessori Child Development technique training. These abilities are virtually unheard-of among Dominican childcare workers, though parents in our surveys stated they would pay $12.50 per hour for an on-demand sitter with these skills (that’s up from $1.25/hr, the regional average for full time nannies.) With tourism growing and tourist services making up the principal GDP in this region, there is certainly demand and great opportunity for these women to capitalize on. 

In January 2014, TRIUM Legacy Fund stepped up to distribute loan funds for the development of a nanny association made up of A Ganar students. One exeptional A Ganar student has shown great entrepreneurial spirit: she as well as another star employee was selected to lead the start-up efforts. EverGift Program Coordinator Emily Wanderer (and author of this blog post), has been working hands-on with the two leaders, the group of student caregivers and other staff at A Ganar to get the association off the ground. 

There has been great head-way over the last two weeks. One short week from now, EverGift will be hands-off and the students will continue setting up their business plan, working on contracts, and will present their completed project proposal to the TRIUM + EverGift Action Representative on April 15th in hope receiving an interest-free loan to cover start-up costs. If successful, the business is set to begin placing nannies with families between Puerto Plata and Cabarete this coming June. While we’re proud that this is the first association of nannies in the region, we are also proud to announce that the association is by all definitions a social business

Please stay tuned to find out more about what makes this a social business and much more!

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