Lucienne Gigante, senior vice president of Doral Bank, recently discussed the importance of community empowerment and its multiplier effects on society, during the 34th annual convention of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“At Doral, we take great pride in being a leading community bank. To us, that means making a difference in the lives of our clients and community. Our strategy is simple — substitute advertising dollars for corporate social responsibility dollars,” she said.
“We believe in creating long-term community programs that empower, educate and provide opportunity. We also believe that driving women’s economic development has a multiplier effect on the economy and is a solution out of fiscal problems,” she said in her address to the group, during the luncheon at which Michelle Herrera Mulligan, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for Latinas, was awarded the USHCC’s “Women in Business and Leadership Award.”
Gigante, with the support of Doral’s CEO, Glen Wakeman, and the bank’s executive leadership team, has been instrumental in formulating dynamic entrepreneurial and community programs across Puerto Rico, reflecting Doral’s commitment to the communities which it serves.
Wakeman’s vision for community initiatives centers on providing economic and financial support to those who often do not receive it. The “Mujeres de Exito” (Women of Success) program, a cornerstone of Doral’s local outreach, is a community program committed to supporting the entrepreneurial and professional pursuits of women in Puerto Rico.
“The number of highly educated women — women with the potential to start scalable ventures — has reached record levels in Puerto Rico and the U.S.,” Gigante said.
“Yet not enough women are being encouraged to take entrepreneurial steps, or exposed to appropriate opportunities because, among other conditions, their support structures and networks continue to be limited. We want to change this reality,” she said.
Over the past two years Doral has invested nearly $3 million in Puerto Rico communities through “Mujeres de Exito,” which provides capital for women to start or grow a business, while making education, mentoring and networking opportunities available to help them succeed.
“In the last year alone, Doral has enabled the creation of 30 women-owned businesses. In fact, just two weeks ago, we injected approximately $1 million into 20 additional high-growth, women-owned businesses,” she concluded.