Puerto Rico governor presents Business Briefcase for Women platform
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and first lady Beatriz Rosselló presented Wednesday a new platform, “Maletín Empresarial para la mujer,” or “Business Briefcase for Women,” to provide entrepreneurs with resources during the process of forming a business.
The announcement was made at the Economic Development and Commerce Department (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) in Hato Rey, where six food trucks were delivered to businesswomen as part of the Puerto Rico Emprende program.
The new website offers tools and guidance to help women “turn their idea into a successful business,” the governor said, adding that “support for women is fundamental for social and economic development that offers fair and equal opportunities.”
As part of the initiatives the government is carrying out to commemorate International Women’s Week, “today we present the product that has been worked on for months and shows the hard work led by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, focused on supporting women who wish to develop in the business world, mainly in the areas of technology and innovation,” the governor said.
DDEC Secretary Manuel Laboy said his agency “designed this website considering the leading role of women in our society and recognizing that, due to the multiple functions they assume, they often do not have enough time to go to offices to receive guidance; or that orientation is expensive and inaccessible.”
The website, www.maletinempresarial.pr.gov, makes seminars, courses and exercises, to guide women in the development of their businesses, available online. It also provides tools to prepare a business plan, as well as information on market studies, education, permitting, financing and the possibility of exporting services. The initiative included establishing partnerships with several nonprofit organizations that will lend support to the entrepreneur’s endeavor.
Laboy further noted that “once they establish their businesses, women entrepreneurs can benefit from other programs and incentives available at DDEC to continue their innovation and expansion in the local or international market through export.”
The Business Briefcase for Women Act orders DDEC to provide the tools to form a company, while offering all the guidance, technical assistance and support needed.
“Now those women interested in taking control of their future, through reinvention in the world of entrepreneurship, have all the tools and guidance available,” the first lady said.
Also Wednesday, the governor and the first lady delivered six food trucks to new entrepreneurs participating in the Puerto Rico Emprende Conmigo program.
It is the second “mobile business” delivery, which now totals 26 food trucks granted to develop micro-entrepreneurs through training and granting of the vehicle as a basis to sell food or other products or services.
Labor Secretary Carlos Saavedra Gutiérrez explained that program participants signed a use contract for $1 for the next two years with the right to renew it.
Among the businesswomen who received keys to their business were Marilú Ortiz Maldonado, who will make and sell Colombian pastries and desserts from her food truck in Vega Baja. Natashly Echevarría Pérez will set up her “tripletas” sandwich business, Las Gorditas, in Isabela; and Astrid Correa Cancel will sell typical Puerto Rican food from her truck, La Cobija, in the western coastal town of Mayagüez.
Dayana Miranda García will sell mugs, glasses, shirts, uniforms and other personalized products she makes and designs from her Loading Creations truck in Gurabo. For her part, Jacqueline Ávila Taveras, will sell gourmet turnovers from La Empanadería, while Cyndia Ríos Guzmán will sell Puerto Rican sweets in Bayamón.
Also present for the announcement was Trade & Export Co. (CCE by its Spanish initials) Director Ricardo Llerandi, who said the CCE “will continue offering training to the new companies of the Puerto Rico Emprende Conmigo program so that they maximize their business opportunities.”
The also chief of staff added that participants of the Business Briefcase program can utilize the Entrepreneurship Center, which features co-working space, private offices and a conference room with internet access, printer and presentation equipment. He also announced that entrepreneurship centers will be opened in Ponce and Mayagüez as well.