The U. S. Small Business Administration Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands district office has kicked-off the second Emerging Leaders training series on the island, announcing the companies selected to participate in the Class of 2016.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to bring the Emerging Leaders initiative back to our district for the second consecutive year and we look forward to building on our past success,” said District Director Yvette T. Collazo during the kick-off ceremony hosted by Technology Initiative of the Northeast (INTENE by its Spanish acronym) at Universidad del Este.
“The small businesses selected this year represent all Puerto Rico geographical regions, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. They also represent a gamut of business sectors, from wholesale distribution, maintenance services, construction, and engineering, to bakeries, dairy products manufacturing, retail and scientific validation, among others. A third of them are owned by women and some go as far back as 1964,” she said.
Launched on the U.S. mainland in 2008, the Emerging Leaders has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities in underserved communities, training more than 3,000 promising small business owners since its inception.
Its impact continues to grow, as Emerging Leader graduates have reported that nearly 70 percent achieved revenue growth and more than 80 percent created new jobs or retained all existing jobs. They have also secured more than $1 billion in government contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing.
The following companies have been competitively selected for the Emerging Leaders Class of 2016 in the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands district: AG Group, LLC; Integra Design Group; DOT Communications; QRC Group; Confianza Exterminating; VPC Development Management Group; Electrical & Power Generator Services; Carcon Group; INHAUZ, LLC; Best Deal General Contractor, Inc.; Nearix, LLC; Panadería San Agustín; ABC Sales & Services; Quesos Vaca Negra; PAWI Corp.; and Quality Consulting Group.
Over a period of seven months, participants will work with course facilitator Jaime Yordán-Frau and subject matter experts, as well as develop connections with other business owners and peer mentors. Upon graduation, they will exit the program with a three-year strategic growth plan for their business.
In addition to INTENE, the following SBA partners are co-sponsoring the Emerging Leaders training series in San Juan this year: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico; Corporation for the Financing of Businesses and Communities (COFECC); PathStone; Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico Small Business & Technology Development Center; and the Women’s Business Institute.