Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus, will offer the “Step-Up” project, a one-year, free-of-charge business education program for adults 60 years or older who are retired or unemployed. The program begins Dec. 11.
Step-Up is a program subsidized by the MCS Foundation, which pursues that people 60 years of age and older are able to develop their business ideas, create jobs and contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic development, said Ángel Toledo-López, interim rector of Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus.
The requirements to participate are: 60 years or older, being retired or unemployed, being able to participate in activities independently, commitment to attend all activities, and complete all phases of the project.
“We recognize the increase in unemployed older adults, who are ready to learn and become entrepreneurs,” said Elba Castellanos, director of operaciones at the MCS Foundation.
“We see this partnership as an opportunity to provide alternatives that help them develop their business and identify sources of income to improve their well-being. This alliance is one of many that we are working to impact the elderly population through our campaign ‘Puerto Rico. Millions of Reasons to Believe and its motto ‘Believe in our Seniors!’,” she said.
The program will offer business training, as well as training activities in a technological environment. Participants will have the space to develop or refine technological skills, business knowledge and explore job opportunities. As an added value, participation in the project will promote socialization and mental health through experiences of teamwork and social interactions that arise in a university context, organizers said.
The Step-Up initiative has five phases and will benefit 30 participants in one year:
- Phase 1: They will participate in motivational talks encouraging them to embrace the idea of starting a business. They will meet entrepreneurs who started their businesses or new jobs after retiring;
- Phase 2: will be devoted to developing business ideas and writing the first outlines to prepare a business plan;
- Phase 3: will consist of learning the essentials to start a company, sources of financing, marketing, business technology, administration, special programs, incentives, permits, etc.
- Phase 4: they will be able to enroll in courses or workshops related to their business ideas and aligned with the purpose of the project; and,
- Phase 5: the participants will present their business ideas.