UPR Mayagüez campus AREA-E program marks 1st year promoting small businesses
The University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus’ Área Emprendedora (ÁREA-E ) incubator and accelerator program, the first of its kind in the university system, marked its first anniversary of promoting small businesses in the western region.
The $2.4 million initiative funded through a grant from the Department of Housing’s CDBG-DR program (Small Business Incubators and Accelerators Program), includes three programs: preincubation, incubation, and acceleration, which complement the services offered by the university’s School of Business Administration’s Center for Business and Economic Development
“It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to impact local talent through incubation and acceleration programs and offer them this opportunity to strengthen their initiatives through training, mentoring with experts, technical assistance and networking activities that we provide, to create support networks in the business ecosystem,” said Moraima De Hoyos-Ruperto, director of the of the Center for Business and Economic Development.
The first cohort began in January, comprising 34 companies: 17 in incubation and 17 in acceleration. This first group of entrepreneurs comes from all over the island and fluctuates between 15 and 60 years of age.
“At the UPR-Mayagüez Campus, we’re committed to supporting and strengthening a culture of entrepreneurship that favors the development of projects. This grant strengthens our already dynamic business ecosystem and provides additional tools to increase its reach,” said Agustín Rullán Toro, rector of the UPR-Mayagüez.
“I know that both this first group, like the entrepreneurs who are benefited by this initiative, will contribute to our economic development,” he said.
Those interested in participating in the free, islandwide program may apply here.