The Foundation for Puerto Rico received a $291,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to create a multi-stage incubation program for entrepreneurs in communities outside the San Juan metropolitan area.
The program will begin next month in the Coamo-Ponce region, foundation officials said.
This is the first time that a Puerto Rican entity receives a subsidy from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the local nonprofit said. The funding came from the Inclusion Open Grand program, which received 750 applications nationwide. Forty-two states and two territories applied, and 19 were selected.
In partnership with four Puerto Rican business organizations, this 12-month program connects the various stages of the business process by helping people turn an idea into a business.
Once selected, the entrepreneurs will develop their business idea through the different stages of the program with INprende, Centro para Emprendedores, Grupo Guayacán and Causa Local with the crowdfunding platform, Kiva.
“This initiative was created to help communities outside the metropolitan area develop economic resilience through the creation of businesses focused on the visitor economy,” said Foundation for Puerto Rico COO Annie Mayol.
“We join forces and create an adapted, dynamic and robust curriculum that is focused on providing entrepreneurs with the business education necessary to develop their business,” she said.
“The Inclusion Open Grant seeks to try new ideas that eliminate barriers to entrepreneurship. We appreciate Foundation for Puerto Rico’s innovative approach to create a step-by-step business program in collaboration with a rich community of local entrepreneur support organizations,” said Melissa Roberts-Chapman, senior program officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship division.
Chapman added she is “proud of our portfolio and the work of these entrepreneur support organizations. Support for entrepreneurship must be diverse, inclusive and equitable; these beneficiaries are developing programs that will drive change at the systems level and bring us closer to that goal.”