The Puerto Rico Economic Development and Commerce Department, Puerto Rico Trade and Export and the Centro para Puerto Rico — headed by former Gov. Sila Calderón — signed a collaboration agreement Wednesday to create of 200 new jobs and develop an incubator for community enterprises in 2014.
Thorugh the agreement, the government and the nonprofit are committing to promote an entrepreneurial culture among the low-income population as a way of developing local capital, self-employment and small and medium enterprises, with the goal to eliminate dependency.
“Our institution is committed to creating at least 200 jobs in the community next year to be added to the government’s goal. I see this as an occasion to promote and strengthen community enterprises,” said Calderón, referring to the current administration’s vow to create 50,000 new jobs in 18 months.
“I am pleased about how the Center has already tended to about 5,000 people through our programs and projects, and this partnership will further enhance our work for disadvantaged communities,” she said. “This collaborative agreement will give communities access to the best resources to develop their businesses and take them to the sustainable level.”
The agreement between the government and the nonprofit represents the inclusion of “non-traditional” sectors into economic development, said Economic Development Secretary Alberto Bacó.
“Agreements such as the one we are signing today, are essential to promote our island’s economic growth. With this initiative, we are supporting the creation of small and medium enterprises, particularly among the less privileged,” he said, adding that the alliance will serve “as an engine of growth for local enterprise.”
The Center will be a collaborator in promoting entrepreneurship, especially among disadvantaged communities, by acting as the liaison between them and the government.
“Through this joint effort, we’ll make it easier for low-income citizens to develop themselves as potential entrepreneurs and help them discover a practical use for their knowledge and creativity in the development of new businesses,” said Puerto Rico Trade Executive Director Francisco Chévere.