Gov. Luis Fortuño announced Wednesday the availability of a new financing tool that lets Puerto Rico’s women entrepreneurs borrow of up to $15,000 to expand their businesses, as well as a scholarship fund to help them get ahead, professionally speaking.
“We all recognize the increasing leadership role of women in promoting the our island’s economic development, and even more, all the challenges they face managing multiple roles as professionals, mothers, daughters and wives,” Fortuño said during the Women’s Entrepreneurial Workshop organized by the Economic Development Bank.
“That’s why we’re committed to provide all of the assistance they need to grow and develop their businesses and provide them the helping hand they deserve,” he said.
The goal of the new “Loan for Women Entrepreneurs” banking product is to provide a source of financing to women entrepreneurs to develop new or existing businesses. By capping loans at $15,000, the application process is much easier for smaller companies or businesses, the EDB said.
The new product is expected to be as successful as the EDB’s other loan program for businesswomen that offer loans of up to $500,000. Since 2009 through this month, the EDB has approved 628 loans totaling $87.8 million.
Loans for women currently represent 25 percent of the EDB’s portfolio, representing 17 percent increase since January 2009 when that type of financing constituted 8 percent of the portfolio, the agency said.
Meanwhile, Fortuño said the government has allocated $50,000 for the new scholarship fund that will award a maximum of $2,000 per applicant. Scholarships are intended to help participating women complete courses in colleges, technical or vocational institutes that strengthen their business skills.