Aguadilla Business Center seeks to foster entrepreneurship, econ. dev’t in the west
As part of its mission to foster economic development on the island, nonprofit organization Friends of Puerto Rico recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Aguadilla Business Center (ABC), a new entrepreneurship center that seeks to establish a business ecosystem in the island’s western region.
In addition, as part of the activities, Friends of Puerto Rico provided and undisclosed amount of seed capital to three women entrepreneurs to promote greater female participation in business.
“The Aguadilla Business Center promises to be a melting pot of entrepreneurship in Aguadilla and surrounding communities,” said Angelique Sina, president of Friends of Puerto Rico.
“As an entity dedicated to economic development, from here we will promote our mission through business initiatives with efforts that will result in the education and development of future entrepreneurs,” she said.
The entity worked in partnership with the municipality of Aguadilla to establish the ABC, an initiative that will create 15 new jobs. Located in the old Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena, the organization has a conference room and a workshop room accessible to the community.
The organization seeks to develop a business ecosystem that provides the space and resources vital for business growth. ABC seeks to bring resources from companies and industries in the region to promote holistic economic development, officials said.
“This Center is an important resource for anyone looking to give wings to their business vision. Under the guidance and Friends of Puerto Rico and with the support of the municipality, the ABC is a place for anyone who wants to undertake and contribute to the continuous development of Aguadilla and the area,” Aguadilla Mayor Julio Roldán said.
The three entrepreneurs who received seed funding were Alani Aldarondo, Patricia Colón, and Manuela Villanueva, who stood out in November 2021 in the “Aguadilla Emprende con Amigas” competition.
Aldarondo developed “Chilea”, a creative planner and notebook that will soon be a business. Colón created “Moriviví”, a women-owned, sustainable soap shop. Villanueva stood out with his business plan for “Manu Villanu” which offers handmade hats and bags.
Friends of Puerto Rico recently launched an initiative with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide advice and guidance to SMEs affected by the economic ravages related to the pandemic.