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Vitrina Solidaria will train entrepreneurs and business owners in Loíza

Nonprofit organization Vitrina Solidaria has opened a call for the Loíza Glocal Bootcamp project that seeks to train and advise entrepreneurs and of small and medium-sized businesses owners in Loíza to contribute to the socioeconomic development of that coastal municipality, Executive Director Raquel Skerrett-Escalera said.

Since 2009, different community-based entities have managed to significantly reduce the problem of weapons on the streets. With the Loíza Glocal Bootcamp, Vitrina Solidaria joins these efforts to help tackle another of the great challenges facing communities, poverty, she said.

“One of the main challenges that Loíza faces is his high rate of poverty and unemployment. Through the Loíza Glocal Bootcamp program, we will start a free educational and business training process through which people present their projects to develop as entrepreneurs and create jobs,” said Skerrett-Escalera.

Estimated Census data from 2016 establish that 49.6% of the Loíza community lives below poverty levels. The median income is $18,154 and the unemployment rate fluctuates between 19% and 37%, she said.

Vitrina Solidaria uses the “Business Bootcamp” methodology to train participants, which consists of 40 hours of virtual coaching and practical training sessions. During these sessions, participants will be trained in entrepreneurship, environment and community issues.

In addition, they will develop Vitrina Solidaria’s “solidarity business canvas,” which is a document that has been modified to include three new blocks that integrate sustainability into their initiatives and projects. During the bootcamp participants will also create the annual action plan aimed at outlining the steps to follow for a year.

At the end of the Bootcamp — which is sponsored by the Puerto Rico Community Foundation —up to 10 community businesses will be chosen to receive a package of marketing tools. Loíza Glocal Bootcamp participants will get personal and technical support throughout the process and after the 40-hour term is up.

Applications must be submitted online by the Nov. 6, 2020 deadline and the chosen participants will be announced later that month, organizers said. Virtual sessions will take place in December, January and February.

While the Loíza Global Bootcamp is open to any company, team or person residing in Puerto Rico, they must live in Loíza during the course of the program and should have lived in the northern town for at least three months prior to the start of the program. In the case of a participating team, at least 50% of the business owners must be permanent residents of Loíza.

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

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