With the aim of encouraging growth and strengthening established businesses in Puerto Rico’s urban centers, FirstBank and INPRENDE have joined to offer business training and advice to help 70 entrepreneurs gain a competitive edge.
INPRENDE is a platform for promoting and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship. The partners are seeking out entrepreneurs in the towns of Adjuntas, Arecibo, Bayamón, Carolina, Cataño, Humacao, Mayagüez, Ponce, Salinas, and Vega Baja to take part in their “1Éxito” program.
“Two weeks ago we announced our partnership with INPRENDE in the context of our 70th anniversary,” said Aysha Issa, senior vice president of retail and small business banking at FirstBank.
“Today, we would like to share the details of the ‘1Éxito’ program, which benefits entrepreneurs in town centers by offering business training and advice to help them gain a competitive edge,” she said.
“We’re aware of the importance of small businesses for the economy, given the jobs they generate and their multiplier effect. This is especially true in urban areas, where they help create a business ecosystem,” Issa said.
The call for applications is already underway, and existing business owners in the mentioned towns may apply for FirstBank’s ‘1Éxito’ program by completing an electronic application through www.1firstbank.com. They will have until Sept. 11 to submit the application online.
A committee composed of FirstBank and INPRENDE representatives will be in charge of selecting the 70 participants (seven per town) according to the following guidelines:
- The business must be an existing establishment, not an idea.
- The business must be properly incorporated.
- It must be the type of business that benefits from training.
- It must be a micro-business.
- The owners must be available during the week to receive training, and should dedicate over 8 hours a day in their business.
The name of the participants will be notified through email on Sept. 19.
The components of the 1Éxito program include: the collaboration of FirstBank and INPRENDE staff to address entrepreneurs’ specific needs; the INPRENDE methodology, which is designed to grow and strengthen small and mid-size companies, based on an eight-pillar approach that a business owner must learn in order to successfully manage their company; the Entrepreneur’s X-Ray, a report completed by participants that will allow them to discover areas of opportunity for their companies; and on-site consulting, including visits to the businesses to discuss the X-Ray, provide additional tools, and help with an action plan.
“Participants will receive a total of 140 hours of free training and strategic business advice workshops and a business manual with essential information based on the methodology modules and supplementary information provided by FirstBank, as well as an action plan that will be their guide throughout the program,” said Davelyn Tardí, director of operations and communications at INPRENDE.
“At the same time, the INPRENDE team will contact each entrepreneur to offer guidance about different organizations and assistance available to help strengthen their operations; check their progress, we will also include a monitoring phase as part of the follow-process,” Tardí added.