5 Questions with David Pierre-Louis, Founder of Kay Tita

Dec 02, 2020
David Pierre-Louis, Kay Tita

David Pierre-­Louis is a community organizer dedicated to strengthening social and economic development in Haiti. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Kay Tita, Cofounder of Impact Hub Port-au-Prince, and the Founder of Port-au-Prince Startup Week.

David’s dynamic leadership style builds bridges and creates partnerships to assist in mobilizing community action, advocating for social change, as well as entrepreneurship development throughout Port-au-Prince.

Kay Tita received a grant from the Techstars Foundation for 2020. 

01. Give us the elevator pitch for Kay Tita.

Kay Tita is a community resource organization dedicated to empowering the entrepreneurs of Port-au-Prince through skill training, cultivating critical partnerships, raising capital, and facilitating impact investing opportunities.

02. How does your organization create a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem?

Kay Tita is rooted in creating an equitable entrepreneurial environment.

Core Equity Values:

  • Support the individuals that come from less fortunate backgrounds first.

  • Diverse community representation in the planning and execution of all events and programming that have a direct impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • Create opportunities that welcome the Haitian Diaspora community as mentors, coaches, investors, and speakers.

03. How will the grant from the Techstars Foundation be used to further the mission of the organization?

We intend to use the grant to support the growth of our entrepreneurship development programs through the following six ways:

  • Create the Kay Tita Virtual Resource Center

  • Host workshops to strengthen the skills of our entrepreneurial program graduates

  • Bring in industry experts to work closely with the entrepreneurs

  • Cultivate partnerships with local financial institutions that will support and provide resources for the entrepreneurs

  • Establish a unique Haitian Diaspora mentorship program

  • Provide coworking scholarships to entrepreneurs

Our initiative deliberately focuses on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem because small businesses are at the heart of our growing community. With a focus on formal business training and a supportive community, we believe this investment will lead to long-term economic growth, job creation, and a strong collaborative work environment.

04. How did you came to do this work and why is it important to you personally?

The 2010 Earthquake was the catalyst that inspired me to be a part of the rebuilding efforts that were happening and needed in my mother’s community in the heart of Turgeau (Downtown Port-au-Prince).

My mother’s property was directly impacted during the 2010 earthquake. In the initial days after the earthquake we used my mother’s home as a resource space, providing supplies and medical assistance to the community.

This impromptu gathering space planted the idea in my mind to someday rebuild her home into a multifaceted community resource center to support the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. This marked the birth of Kay Tita as an organization.

I strongly believe that when members in my community have access to dynamic spaces that are locally rooted and globally connected, it promotes their ingenuity and helps them actualize their ideas with the greatest impact. For me, it is a great honor to assist my community in accomplishing their goals from a place of abundance.

05. Tell us the story of a specific entrepreneur you are proud to have supported.

Casteline Tilus is an entrepreneur who is one of the first fellows in our inaugural Entrepreneur Development Program, Zel.

Casteline entered our program with a vision of launching Haiti’s first (and currently only) Data Science Bootcamp Program.

Her company is called Ayiti Analytics, a data-centric lab committed to increasing analytical capacity in Haiti through data science education, consulting, and research.

Her determination to make this program work while holding a full-time job in DC was really amazing to witness. I observed her assemble a dynamic team remotely, and had the privilege of sitting in on a few meetings when she secured a partnership with DIGICEL (Haiti’s largest telecommunication company) and gained their commitment to hire students from the Ayiti Analytics first Bootcamp.

Despite Port-au-Prince’s political instability, I observed her leave her stable job, move to Port-au-Prince, and launch a program with an overwhelming desire from applicants throughout the city.

Casteline and the Ayiti Analytics team in less than 12 months has become the talk of the country by training 15 students, creating the Ayiti Analytics Health System Dashboard to monitor COVID-19 responses, and providing online corporate training to several companies in Port-au-Prince. Casteline Tilus’ entrepreneurial journey shows us that through a combination of her dedication, community support, and access to the right resources, everything is possible. 

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