The 7th annual “Caguas Compite” business incubation program concluded with a graduation rate of 85 percent, one the highest percentiles since the initiative began in 2012, town officials confirmed.
According to the mayor of that municipality, William Miranda Torres, this program was created to help lower class citizens become self-sufficient in spite of the financial crisis that burdens Puerto Rico.
The program featured working spaces in the food industry, makeup and fashion, professional services in medicine, manufacturing, real estate and insurance.
Although Puerto Rico is going through economic and social challenges, the first executive of Caguas emphasized his “commitment to the program” with “an investment of more than $100,000” for this cycle of “Caguas Compite.”
“This year, in spite of the challenges faced by Hurricane María, we have a retention rate of 85 percent, which is mostly represented by women,” he said.
“Through mentoring, individual, and specialized attention provided to those people that showed interest in the field of business, the program was able to guide them to where they envisioned themselves,” he said.
Thanks to document provided by a municipal source, this media outlet learned that out of all the business projects that are being worked on, there are four fully operational up-and-running businesses with 11 more in the pipeline, waiting for operating permits, and the rest are in other phases of development. The document also states that the projected payroll associated with the new businesses will total $370,968, based on the federal minimum wage.
Meanwhile, a local graduate of this program, Mary Luz Negrón, was motivated by the program to pursue a career as a social events coordinator to “help people with affordable prices.” The founder of “Wonder Things Creations by Mary Luz for You” expressed that “she is solely focused on fulfilling dreams of her costumers.”
On the other hand, another graduate and founder of Big Bike PR, Carla Acosta, took an interest in the world of bicycles with the integration of multiple family members simultaneously.
She explained how the people that participate in the bicycle activity have “have a better understanding of the night life in the urban side of Caguas.” She alluded to the “tools” that were provided to her by this program to “understand the unknown terminologies of the business world.”
When the mayor was asked about what the program will do to follow up on the new business graduates and their businesses he replied that “they should contact the secretary of economic development.”
“They have a lot of resources there to help them in the process. They can benefit from our governmental and federal alliances, private companies, and they can also do networking,” he added.
Other notable figures of the business world, like business coach and consultant José Enrique ‘Kike’ Chévere, made a brief appearance in the ceremony. He used his space on the platform to give advice, encouragement and appreciation to the graduates of the program.
“Puerto Rico needs people that can identify a problem and find a solution to it in the most efficient way possible,” he concluded.