Causa Local launches ‘Verizon Small Business Digital Ready’ initiative
Causa Local, a Puerto Rican organization dedicated to democratizing access to capital and improving financial health, is launching the “Verizon Small Business Digital Ready” online curriculum in Puerto Rico starting in September.
It is a program designed to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive in the modern digital economy, including access to personalized learning plans, mentoring, and capital incentives.
The program is free and promotes the digital transformation of companies with a completely customized curriculum for each business, considering its industry, size, and established goals.
Through Causa Local, Verizon, Next Street and LISC can include Puerto Rico in this effort, which since 2020 has benefited hundreds of thousands of businesses in the United States, said Ana María Cintrón, founder of Causa Local.
From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of last year, some 12,000 businesses have had to close in Puerto Rico, and the inflation rate rose to 7.2% through June, the nonprofit stated.
Causa Local — which has promoted the growth of more than 500 local merchants through its Academy and non-traditional programs for access to capital and has awarded more than $3 million in investment capital and Kiva loans at 0% interest — discovered the new opportunity and is now making it accessible to Puerto Rican businesses in English and Spanish, she said.
“We all know that the pandemic accelerated the need for digital advancements across all industries. For small businesses, it is especially important to become immersed in knowledge to continuously adapt and grow,” said Cintrón, who is executive director of Causa Local.
“I want to underscore the opportunity that the platform offers in facilitating education for local entrepreneurs 24/7. The platform is periodically updated with new topics to keep up with the needs of entrepreneurs in their different stages,” she said.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is free and can help small businesses move forward in four ways:
- Personalized learning: Content presented by small businesses through brief, information-packed lessons small businesses can use right away.
- Expert coaching: Guidance from business experts across marketing, business planning, legal, and more.
- Peer networking: Connections to other small businesses to build their networks.
- Incentives: In addition to tools, solutions, products, and services that can help small businesses, registered participants who complete two courses or mentorship events can apply for grant funding of $10,000 periodically available exclusively through the program.