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Puerto Rico Community Foundation business program opens for applications

The Puerto Rico Community Foundation’s Small Business Incubation and Acceleration Program is accepting applications from entrepreneurs interested in receiving training and mentoring. The program’s third cycle begins in November and will assist participants in developing a business plan to take their ideas to the next level and apply for government incentives.

Interested individuals can attend virtual and in-person workshops offered by the nearest incubator and accelerator in their area: CRÉALOS from the Office for Human Promotion and Development (OPDH, in Spanish) in Arecibo; Solidarity Incubator Headquarters of Mujeres de Islas in Culebra; and the Center for Sustainable Microenterprises and Agricultural Technologies Inc. (CMTAS Yauco Inc.) in Yauco.

The program is supported by the Puerto Rico Housing Department through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program funds and is managed by Foundation for Puerto Rico in collaboration with the incubators and accelerators.

“We are very excited about the start of the third cycle of small business incubation and acceleration because it provides us with the opportunity to once again increase the human capital of Puerto Rican entrepreneurs,” said Puerto Rico Community Foundation President Nelson Colón-Tarrats.

“We aim for them to boost their entrepreneurship with the creation of a business plan and the acquisition of specific knowledge about its development, as well as information about available government assistance,” he said.

“Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are important for the economic development of our archipelago, and this program contributes to the mission of helping them grow,” he added.

The curriculum includes “Business Feasibility,” “Incentives for Puerto Rican Entrepreneurs,” “How to Prepare a Financial Statement,” “How to Create a Business Plan,” and “Business Permitting,” with additional education areas varying by incubator and specified during enrollment.

In the program’s first cycle in 2021, 19 businesses were developed, securing a business license or presenting a business plan. The second cycle, which began in October 2022, saw 43 participants graduate: 16 presented business plans, 13 achieved their business registrations, and seven obtained artisan certifications. 

Some of the businesses that are already operational following graduation include La Jíbara Creative Pizzeria in Culebra, Stilo Grace in Arecibo, La Jíbara del Coquí in Yauco, Le’ Charcuterie in Arecibo, La Esquina Fría in Arecibo, Ulana Handmade Crochet in Culebra, F. Martínez’s Accounting Inc. in Arecibo, and Bee-Connected in Coamo.

The program is also aligned with several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Quality Education and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Those interested may register at one of the aforementioned incubators or send an email to aemejia@fcpr.org. 

The application is available on the Small Business Incubation and Acceleration Program webpage, under Programmatic Focus in the main menu, selecting the Incubators and Accelerators submenu. Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the workshops.

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