Savings and Chance, a study by a team from the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME) at the Fletcher School at Tufts University explores the ubiquity of gambling practices in Haiti and their implication for financial services. As findings indicate, the Haitian lottery, known as the borlette, appears as a historical and cultural response to economic and social marginalization, as well as a manifestation of undeterred hope for a transformational lump sum, a sum large enough to allow them to escape their current circumstances.
In Haiti, many farmers lie beyond the reach of the formal banking system and MFIs. A powerful method of local financial intermediation, called mutuelles is helping to bridge the gap. Efficiently formed by local NGOs and church organizations, mutuelles are forces of social change. They also demonstrate financial discipline and could prove an interesting market for MFIs and banks seeking new customers for financial services.