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Western region entrepreneurs invited to Start Here workshop

Entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico’s western region have a new opportunity to launch their business idea with the Start Here acceleration program, a three-day workshop with the Center for Entrepreneurs teaches participants to structure their business plan, generate income, access to capital and develop a pitch to attract investment in their ventures.

Start Here will take place April 28-30 at the Aguadilla Business Center. Registration is now open here, where there is also more information on costs, student discounts and grant applications for those who qualify.

“Start Here is a priceless opportunity for entrepreneurs in western Puerto Rico who are looking to launch their business idea. This event provides them with the necessary tools to develop successful business plans and attract investment to grow their companies,” said Angelique Sina, president and co-founder of Friends of Puerto Rico, a nonprofit that sponsors the Aguadilla Business Center.

The executive also stressed that Start Here fulfills the mission of the Aguadilla Business Center and Center for Entrepreneurs to be a crucible of entrepreneurship in Aguadilla and the surrounding communities.

“As entities dedicated to economic development, we remain firm in our commitment to promote business initiatives with efforts that will result in the education and development of future entrepreneurs,” she noted.

For Fernando García, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurs, “this event is of great benefit to anyone who has a business idea but does not know what the appropriate steps are to structure, formalize and execute that idea.”

García added that more than 1,200 people have benefited from the Start Here event throughout the program’s 11 years.

The Start Here program will use the Business Model Canvas during its workshops. This tool helps businesses analyze and visualize their current or potential business model. The canvas is made up of nine essential elements including customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relations, income streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.

After reserving a spot in Start Here, participants will have the chance to attend a workshop on business plan development, which covers the fundamental components of this tool. Additionally, they can pitch their business to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, and join the Friends of Puerto Rico mentorship program to gain access to capital. The program also offers networking opportunities and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for the three days of the event.

Last year’s edition of the event, called Business Boost, recognized several entrepreneurial projects, including Ponflow, Mikokos by Kimberly Ramos and Miguel Cabán, and Overcoming Adversities by Yalanis Vélez, which have received grants of more than $50,000.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had,” Kimberly Ramos said of her experience at Business Boost. “It allowed me to improve my business skills and, with this, we continue to scale, and we managed to enter the long-awaited Pre18 program where we managed to increase our sales by 72% compared to previous months.”

Since 2015, Friends of Puerto Rico has supported Puerto Rico’s economic development through business initiatives, education and the creation of opportunities, with a focus on empowering women and girls.

It has mobilized a community of more than 30,000 entrepreneurs, donors and partner organizations from around the world focused on driving economic success and innovation to cultivate the next generation of leaders.

Through a combination of training, education and mentoring initiatives that leverage the culture, art and people of Puerto Rico, its goal is to provide economic opportunity through self-sufficiency.

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

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