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EnterPRize competition evolves into growth platform

    From left: Manny Morales from EVERTEC, Grupo Guayacán Executive Director Laura Cantero, Francisco Uriarte, and Lucienne Gigante during Tuesday's news conference.

From left: Manny Morales from EVERTEC, Grupo Guayacán Executive Director Laura Cantero, Francisco Uriarte, also from Guayacán, and Doral Bank’s Public Relations Director Lucienne Gigante, during Tuesday’s news conference. EVERTEC and Doral offer cash awards to specific winners.

EnterPrize, Puerto Rico’s most comprehensive business plan competition, is entering its eight year with a new focus on becoming a development platform that offers integrated support for future entrepreneurs.

As EnterPRize Next, the competition sponsored by Grupo Guayacán Inc. since 2005, seeks to help generate new enterprises by offering intensive education to all those potential entrepreneurs who, more than developing an idea, want to start and build successful businesses. Through EnterPRize Next, winners will receive education and guidance for a year, and will also gain the skills needed to present their business proposals to local and international investors.

“Puerto Rico’s economic development depends largely on its ability to generate new businesses with global potential and strengthening the support ecosystem for existing ventures. Grupo Guayacán Inc. has spent more than eight years working to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting the development of local businesses, celebrate success stories, and bring together the local entrepreneur network,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.

“EnterPRize Next is not only a vehicle to accelerate business development in Puerto Rico, through a structured support and monitoring process, but also allows us to better understand the needs of Puerto Rican entrepreneurs so we can adjust our programs to meet those needs,” she said.

The competition has the commitment of experts in advisory firms in various areas such as: finance and business valuation, market research, marketing, public relations, legal services, accounting services, insurance, information technology and communications, and management strategy, which will provide pro-bono services to the winners.

EnterPrize Next will choose 10 new companies and will award them with more than $100,000 in cash, plus support services in key business management areas, access to a mentoring program and grants to study abroad to prepare themselves to present before investors and raise capital for their operations. Those in-kind services are worth close to $1 million, event organizers said during a news conference Tuesday.

To participate in the EnterPrize Next competition, parties have until Sept. 30 to submit their proposals via Internet, at www.enterprizepr.com.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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