Puerto Rico Trade and Export rolled out an initiative Wednesday to spur community economic development that is split into two programs: a Microenterprise Development Incubator and an Economic Incentive to Community Microenterprises, said agency Executive Director Francisco Chévere.
These programs include an allocation of $1 million, which will be awarded through incentives of up to $50,000 to community micro incubators and up to $5,000 to existing and start-up community enterprises.
“We are committed to the community economic development model since it is a self-management strategy that promotes economic solidarity and addresses poverty,” Chévere said during a news conference. “Incubating micro community enterprises is an ideal model that provides the necessary tools for creating jobs, while serving the particular needs of the economically disadvantaged population.”
“The main objective of this program is to give communities, institutions and organized groups the tools necessary for continued economic and social development in their environment,” he said.
Through the Microenterprise Development Incubator Program, the agency will offer economic support to incubators to help entrepreneurs. The incentive of up to $50,000 may be used to cover trainings and technical assistance, research and studies that benefit the incubator, and hiring of resources in search of additional funds.
Meanwhile, the Economic Incentive to Community Microenterprises program aims to stimulate sustainable economic development in economically disadvantaged communities, strengthen the development of micro and community resources and create jobs in communities. This initiative could create at least 190 new jobs, Chévere said.