The San Juan Daily Star
El Yunque business training program graduates 20
By The Star Staff
Vitrina Solidaria graduated 20 businessmen and women who completed training at the El Yunque Emprende Accelerator and established businesses in the eastern region, Raquel Skerret Escalera, executive director of Vitrina Solidaria, said Monday.
The El Yunque Emprende Accelerator develops and promotes local microenterprises — free of charge for participants — through a process of advice and training that is based on the principles of a solidarity economy. The program is funded via the Housing Department with Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) recovery and is part of an agreement with El Yunque National Forest.
“The achievements of this group of 20 entrepreneurs inspire us to continue training more struggling people who accept the challenge of bringing their ideas to their culmination with the development of their microenterprises in a region (east) that needs to strengthen its economy and generate jobs,” Skerret Escalera said. “Once they graduate, at Vitrina Solidaria we continue to support our entrepreneurs because that accompaniment and mentoring is fundamental to facing the challenges of doing business.
The group that participated in the first edition of the El Yunque Emprende Accelerator received 64 hours of training and 650 hours of practice in specific topics in their area of specialty with experts in sustainable tourism, gastronomy and local production.
Another component of the process was permanent training in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategic planning, business outlook, strengthening of products and services, resilience and environmental responsibilities, legal aspects, financial management, action plan, marketing (brand development and digital marketing), and the solidarity economy, among others.
The training was offered at the El Portal visitor center of El Yunque National Forest and at a Vitrina Solidaria property in Río Grande.
To participate businesses had to be established in one of the 10 municipalities that make up the El Yunque region: Canóvanas, Ceiba, Naguabo, Humacao, Las Piedras, Juncos, Fajardo, Luquillo, Loíza and Río Grande.
El Yunque National Forest Supervisor Keenan Adams said “today, thanks to the El Yunque Emprende Business Acceleration program of Vitrina Solidaria, we can count on a group of new entrepreneurs trained with the necessary tools and skills to contribute, from a philosophy of the solidarity economy, to the economic and tourist development of the El Yunque region and the change that our region and its communities deserve.”