Plaza Del Caribe, MasterCard, the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank, the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company, and the Chamber of Commerce of the South are joining forces to launch business competition “Travesía al Éxito Empresarial” in search of new entrepreneurs in the island’s southern region.
This initiative seeks to provide an incentive and benefits package to stimulate the growth of a new retail company with less than three years of establishment. Interested participants can submit their proposals between July 1st and Aug. 27, 2015, competition organizers said Thursday.
Plaza Del Caribe will provide a winner the opportunity to establish their business as part of the mall’s cart program, or temporary spaces, a six-month lease free of charge, and will also offer mentorship services.
“Our sister shopping mall, Plaza Las Américas, launched this initiative successfully last year and we decided to adapt the model to the southern region to encourage and support new businesses in the area with a desire to establish their business in Plaza Del Caribe but that until now they were unable to,” said Edwin Tavarez, Plaza Del Caribe’s general manager.
“There’s a lot of potential to develop new businesses, but not necessarily the right tools that facilitate it and that’s why we created an alliance between the private and public sectors, to offer this unique opportunity to promote business success to new merchants,” he said.
The winner will receive a MasterCard debit card from Oriental Bank worth $10,000 for business expenses.
“For a second time MasterCard, in hand with Plaza Del Caribe, Oriental Bank and the private sector, launches this initiative that supports entrepreneurship and promote business success in Puerto Rico,” said Manuel Catedral, district general manager, MasterCard Puerto Rico.
The Chamber of Commerce of the South will offer the winner a free one-year membership to their organization, inclusion of their logo in all of the organization’s promotional material, exhibit space during their Annual Convention and managerial support in the communications, sales and finances’ areas of the business.
All participants and finalists will have the opportunity to attend financial educational workshops provided by MasterCard and receive guidance from Puerto Rico Trade and Export. The winner will also be eligible to apply for the Microbusiness Incentive administered by the latter agency. Finally, the EDB will help the winner identify other support resources and financial options, and offers until $1,000 in credit to be applied to closing costs at the agency.