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Bravo Family Foundation sets its eye on new generation of entrepreneurs

The Bravo Family Foundation (BFF) announced the launch of the Bravo Challenge for Youth, a project that aims to promote a new breed of entrepreneurs by developing their entrepreneurial abilities and skills while they are still in high school.

In its initial phase, the project is focusing its efforts on high school students in the municipalities of Loíza, Canóvanas, Carolina, and Trujillo Alto. The pilot project starts on Feb. 5, with 48 students from those municipalities, who showed an interest in entrepreneurship.

Bravo Challenge for Youth consists of three stages, each lasting 16 weeks. The first stage is “Awareness,” during which the participants will be exposed to entrepreneurial skills, soft skills, self-knowledge tools, and interaction with other young entrepreneurs.

In Stage 2, “Exploration,” the participants will explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship, embarking on experiences in particular areas and striving to harmonize their interests, skills, and attitudes with areas that offer business opportunities. The third stage, “Decision and Training” will help them define an academic path and begin their entrepreneurial journeys.

“I have a debt to pay back, I didn’t do anything by myself. I always had somebody helping me,” says Orlando Bravo, who in 2019 became the first Puerto Rico-born billionaire, appearing on the Forbes 400 list.

During each stage, new participants will join the first stage, and the participants currently in Stage 1 will move to Stage 2. This process will continue until all participants go through the program’s three stages and follow up in the academic world. Participants could benefit from the program for as long as 30 months, Foundation officials said.

“We’re going to develop the entrepreneurial skills of young people starting in high school, creating opportunities and training entrepreneurs to promote Puerto Rico’s socio-economic development. We’re determined to awaken their talents and guide them so that they may aspire to create and grow their business initiatives from Puerto Rico and have the tools to do it successfully,” said Orlando Bravo, co-founder of Bravo Family Foundation, which he established in 2017 with the mission to advance social justice in Puerto Rico, empowering marginalized communities to achieve equity of access to socio-economic development opportunities.

“The foundation extends its reach with the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs program and the program’s first project, Bravo Challenge for Youth, cultivating the entrepreneurial seed in young high school students along with the 30 local high-potential startups that we support through our Rising Entrepreneurs Program,” said Blanca I. Santos, executive director of BFF, adding that most participants will be from public schools and a minority from private schools.

The EYES program will end May 21 with an Entrepreneurs Symposium. Meetings will be conducted virtually in February and starting in March, the project will be offered at the Ana G. Méndez University, Carolina Campus, if conditions allow it, she said.

Each stage of the Bravo Challenge for Youth project offers a specific curriculum that focuses on business skills, providing a preface of the Thomas Bravo Playbook, developing soft skills, defining interests, strengths, and weaknesses; promoting social responsibility through community experiences; and meeting Bravo entrepreneurs to build market exposure.

The group leaders selected for the project are entrepreneurs who have experience working with people in this age group and who can guide them through the process of becoming entrepreneurs. Certified coaches will help participants discover their passions and direction in life.

In addition, participants will have access to community experiences that will develop their sense of social responsibility and psychologists who will be available to work with parents or guardians who need assistance and help participants with limitations.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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