San Juan, Puerto Rico – Doral Bank announced it has received a record number of applications for this year’s Despegue Empresarial (Women’s Business Boost), an initiative within Doral’s program Mujeres d Éxito (Women of Success) that provides capital and mentoring as a growth accelerator for women-owned businesses. More than 130 women have submitted applications for their business this year.
Doral also announced a change in the type of businesses that applied to this initiative with a notable increase in businesses from the agriculture industry, as well as others in consulting, finance, retail, tourism, manufacturing and design. A majority of applications received are from the Extended-Metro and West side of the island.
“We are proud that our program continues to grow and support professional and entrepreneurial women through capital and mentorship. This year’s rise in applications proves the growing role of women as a key driver in our economy and we will continue with our commitment to support their future growth”, said Jesús Méndez, executive vice president of operations of Doral Bank Puerto Rico.
Doral Bank also announced the online expansion of its Ruta Mujeres d Éxito (Women’s of Success Tour) initiative. Under this initiative, experts provide free educational seminars on key topics for professional or entrepreneurs such as time management, professional etiquette, marketing, communications, government permits, among others. The Doral Bank website now features a section which offers relevant advice and tools from each of the workshops offered during the tour.
20 Women-Owned Businesses to Receive $700k
As part of the Despegue Empresarial program (Women’s Business Boost), through which five businesses will receive a capital injection of $50k each: $25k as a grant and $25k as a loan. In addition, 15 other businesses will each receive $30k as a loan. These loans provide the recipient with flexible terms, more competitive than the ones in the market in addition to Doral covering the loan’s closing costs.
All of last year’s winners have reported positive sales results and many have shared with their accomplishments:
- Sandrysabel Ortiz, owner of Shoe Square, Inc. and distributor of shoe accessories, obtained national awareness when TLC chose her for their program ‘The Good Buy Girls’ and is distributing her products all over the world.
- María de Jesús, owner of Hidrocultivos Carolinenses, Inc., a hydroponic lettuce manufacturer, saw a rise in sales of close to 600% and has been able secure new clients including Coliseo de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s Premier Concert Arena.
- Marisol Santiago, owner of Grafed Solutions, Inc., has expanded her pharmacy to add an infusion center creating a new niche.
A committee made up of professional and entrepreneur leaders will select the 20 winners to be announced in August.
Mujeres d Éxito: Positive Impact on Women in Puerto Rico
Lucienne Gigante, SVP of Marketing, Public Relations and Community of Doral Bank, stated “In Puerto Rico, a woman leads one of every three families, yet more than 60% of women head of household in the labor force live below poverty levels”.
Doral has invested more than $2M in initiatives to support women’s economic development and education under the umbrella program Mujeres d Éxito (Women of Success) and including Fondo Doral (Doral Fund), Ruta Mujeres d Éxito (Women’s Success Tour), Despegue Empresarial (Women’s Business Boost) and Style a Student.
“Mujeres d éxito is proof that with allies we can all make a big difference in our communities. Together we have achieved the creation of 50 new jobs, been part of the growth of over 20 businesses and provided extended education to more than 1,000 women. We at Doral will continue to challenge ourselves further by helping more women achieve their professional goals”, Gigante stated.For more information on Mujeres d Éxito, visit www.doralbank.com/mujeresdexito and www.facebook.com/doralbank.