Date of Award

Fall 8-23-2021




Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Teacher Education

First Advisor

Dr. Parul Acharya

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric Spears

Third Advisor

Dr. Victor Salazar


Entrepreneurship is seen as a vehicle to improve the economy of communities and countries. BEL Initiative is a program that provides entrepreneurship education and resources to entrepreneurs based in Haiti. The program supports the ecosystem in Haiti with the intention to contribute to Haiti’s economy through education and promoting investment. Though the program seems to be helping educate entrepreneurs, what effects do participants of the BEL Initiative have on the Haitian economy? What do they take away from the program? Furthermore, what concepts and information are they able to apply in Haiti’s business environment from American influenced entrepreneurship education?

The conceptual framework of the study integrates components of the “Enterprise Education Model” (Gibb, 1993) which helps replicate enterprising behaviors and attitudes. This study used a qualitative phenomenological case study research design to gather data and assess the findings on the effects of the program. Study participants included 11 entrepreneurs who took part in the BEL Initiative program and launched a company before or after participating in the program. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, which were then transcribed from voice to text. Initial coding was used to code interviews, which were eventually grouped and themed into five major themes. The findings indicate that participants of the program were able to apply much of what they learned in Haiti’s business environment despite the influence of American business culture on the education and curriculum. However, one area subject that was difficult to apply in the Haitian business environment, was raising capital or funds. The results serve as implications for government, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations that administer entrepreneurship education programs.