The Puerto Rico Community Foundation will promote economic development and entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico’s southwestern and eastern areas after receiving a grant of $249,604 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, the entities announced.
The Foundation will match the award dollar-for-dollar to implement the Recovery Program-Rural Community Development Initiative for Puerto Rico, the nonprofit said.
The total investment of $499,208 will allow the Foundation to work closely with three community-based organizations: Ceiba Economic Development Alliance (APRODEC, for its initials in Spanish), Quebrada Seca, Ceiba; Sabana Grande Community and Economic Development (SACED), Rayo, Sabana Grande and; Fundación Bucarabón, Bucarabones, Maricao.
The three-year program will guide these communities in the development of community asset maps, business plans, pre-incubation and business incubation, strengthening of local entrepreneurship initiatives, and will advise on opportunities to have access to financial capital, among others.
They will also receive capacity building, technical assistance and mentoring to stimulate entrepreneurship and a more vigorous economic activity stemming from its residents to strengthen the region’s economy.
“This collaboration allows us contribute to the development of human and financial capital, allowing the strengthening of the overall community capital in these communities, thus promoting financial and social justice,” said Foundation President Nelson I. Colón-Tarrats.
“We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development to empower community economic development in Puerto Rico,” he said.
The Puerto Rico Community Foundation has been the recipient of this type of grant four times in the past 16 years. It became the only local nonprofit organization to receive the grant this year.
“USDA Rural Development is committed to bolstering prosperity in Puerto Rico’s rural communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Josué E. Rivera.
“Our partnership with the Foundation through this Rural Community Development Initiative provides invaluable training and technical assistance in entrepreneurship that will enable over 4,600 Puerto Ricans to take command of their economic development and achieve a more prosperous future,” he added.