In the spirit of contributing to the business development of entrepreneur women, FirstBank, through its Community Reinvestment Unit, is sponsoring the Center for Puerto Rico’s “Women Entrepreneurship Program,” the organizations announced Thursday.
During the life of this six-year-old program, 839 women have benefitted and it has contributed to the development and strengthening of more than 390 microbusinesses on the island.
During the six-month cycle, the “Women Entrepreneurship Program: participants receive lectures, workshops, technical advice, and the opportunity to exhibit and market their products or services in commercial bazaars and markets.
At the conclusion of the training, the participants are recognized in an achievement ceremony.
In July 2015, an external evaluation was done for the program, which corroborated the objectives are met 100 percent of the time and that 89 percent of the participants who complete the program strengthen their business and are able to increase their sales.
“Since 2007, FirstBank has collaborated with the Center for Puerto Rico in different community development projects. With the support of the Women Entrepreneurship Program we want to continue strengthening the business initiatives that greatly impact and promote women’s self-employment,” said Catherine Ríos, Community Reinvestment Officer at FirstBank.
“As part of our commitment with business women, this year we are integrating our Small Business Banking staff throughout the workshops and activities. We will offer personalized consulting and technical support, which will help them establish an action plan to allow them to grow their business,” said José Abreu, vice president and Retail and Small Business. Regional Manager for FirstBank.
“We thank FirstBank for their collaboration during these past years. Their support has allowed us to continue impacting businesswomen around the island who are looking to develop their business as a vehicle to find self-reliance and financial freedom,” said Dennis R. Román-Roa, president of the Sila M. Calderón Foundation and the Center for Puerto Rico.
“Our main goal is to reduce poverty in Puerto Rico through community educational services and by promoting diverse programs and projects to encourage microbusinesses and employment opportunities,” he added.