Looking to strengthening the operations of 125 local small business owners and to help improve Puerto Rico’s financial activity, FirstBank presented for its second year in a row its “1Éxito” (“One Success”) program, in partnership with INprende, through which FirstBank offered free business optimization workshops.
The “1Éxito” training program began in 2018 as part of FirstBank’s commitment with the development of the island’s small business community, especially in the urban centers of 10 towns severely impacted by Hurricane María.
This initiative is intended to help small business owners evaluate their business models, strengthen the development of their operations and increase their level of competition.
“’1Éxito’ started last year with an invitation to business owners from urban centers of 10 island towns,” said Ginoris López-Lay, strategic management executive vice-president of FirstBank.
“After the successful training of 73 microbusiness owners in 2018, we presented the project to president Bill Clinton during the meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery that took place in Puerto Rico last January,” she said.
“We entered into an agreement with the CGI to expand the ‘1Éxito’ program this year, as part of the projects the organization supports and that are intended to improving the economy of the Caribbean region,” López-Lay said.
In recent weeks, FirstBank held two new training phases of “1Éxito” together with INprende, based on the feedback from last year’s participants, when 125 small business owners benefited throughout Puerto Rico.
In the first phase, 68 of the 2018 business owners participated in intensive workshops about cash flow and marketing plan and finished with the presentation of the marketing plan of each of the businesses where the entrepreneurs participated for awards of up to $5,000 in a FirstBank commercial account.
“1Éxito’s” second training phase included an initial call for 30 new business owners opened to the entire Island. However, it was expanded to 57 business owners due to the amount of applications received.
This workshop included topics of commercial projection, business strategies, marketing, operational efficiency, finances and human resources, led by FirstBank executives and INprende’s specialized resources.
“These workshops consisting of four sessions, put to the test the participant’s level of commitment and enthusiasm. At the end of this phase, we selected one of the business owners with perfect attendance and was awarded a $1,500 commercial account,” said López-Lay, who also commented that the bank will begin offering the workshops in November under the name 1Success to business owners in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands where FirstBank also does business.