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Sacred Heart Univ. launches program to develop creative industries in Santurce

Sacred Heart University, through its “Our Neighborhood: Cultural District of Santurce” program, has opened a call for creative companies established in the Santurce area interested in developing their project.

The initiative, called the CEPA for its initials in Spanish, seeks to recruit 10 to 12 companies committed to their neighborhood, that need support to give structure, diversify their offer or identify new growth opportunities for their businesses, said Javier De Jesús-Martínez, director of Sacred Heart University’s Neeuko-Collaborative Innovation Center, which leads the initiative.

“We want to support the creative industries in Santurce because we have identified it as a growing industry with great potential for economic impact,” he said.

“Currently we have about 250 creative companies in Santurce with need to be supported. This is part of Sacred Heart’s mission to promote innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship through all its initiatives,” said De Jesús.

Some of the companies that could apply are those engaged in architecture, crafts, performing arts, culinary and visual software development, graphic design, product or fashion, media, museums, galleries and bookshops, music, publications, advertising and marketing, among others.

Some of the benefits they will get is access to co-working space at Sacred Heart University, which has internet access , telephone service, personal support, consulting and mentoring from the School of Business Administration, the Ferré-Rangel School of Communication, the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Humanistic and Social Studies and Neeuko.

They will also benefit from business training workshops and receive support in the development of a minimum viable product and marketing, he said.

This initiative is made possible through the allocation of $400,000 the university received from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support the acceleration of creative industries through the “Our Neighborhood” program.  

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and classifications of the United Nations, in Puerto Rico there are 2,355 creative industries with a market share of $2.37 billion or 3.16 percent of GDP; an annual income of $564 million; a record of 18,181 jobs and an economic contribution of $1.75 million.

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