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Unlock Capital event restates support for Puerto Rico’s small businesses

The Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA) inaugurated its annual Unlock Capital program on March 21, reaffirming its commitment for Puerto Rico’s economic development through access to capital and fostering the growth of small businesses on the island.

The launch event brought together entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders to create new opportunities for startup investments, business financing and collaboration, organizers said.

Unlock Capital is an acceleration program designed for emerging companies and businesses with high growth expectations. It is supported by Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Housing.

The program is part of the government of Puerto Rico’s multiple initiatives to address economic development needs that were accentuated following the devastating impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Ernesto Villarini-Baquero, CDVCA’s managing director, highlighted the program’s influence, citing the active engagement of the 2024 cohort and the more than $5 million in financing secured by two previous cohorts as “a testament to CDVCA’s significant impact on Puerto Rico’s business landscape.”

“After our first two years of work, we confirm that when we invest in our business community and human potential, we strengthen the path towards the future of prosperity and success we want for Puerto Rico,” he said.

“Every company, every investor and every project highlighted today reflects the strength of our conviction in the transformative power of capital. Thanks to this insistence on access to capital and the positive experience in Puerto Rico, CDVCA is taking this project to the United States with support from the departments of Commerce and Treasury,” Villarini-Baquero added.

CDVCA’s Puerto Rico Fund for Growth was another topic of discussion at the event, underscoring its role in promoting business growth and the creation of high-quality enterprises on the island.

Fund representatives and benefited companies shared testimonials that show the effectiveness of impact investing, leaving attendees inspired by the results.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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