April 24, 2013
Doral bets $1M on women entrepreneurs' economic development
Launches Mujeres d Éxito second session to provide capital and help expand the businesses of 20 professional women Fondo Doral provides $100K to 6 nonprofits for microloans to future entrepreneurs.

Doral Bank announced today the second summon for its program Mujeres d Éxito, which aims to bolster Puerto Rican women's professional and economic development. The community program, which has already proven positive for the Island's economy, renovates its initiatives Despegue Empresarial, Fondo Doral, Internado Doral and Ruta Mujeres d Éxito.

"In Puerto Rico, one of every three families is led by a woman. As women's professional participation increases, so does her accountability in the financial decision-making process. Therefore, it is evident that if we support women in the entrepreneurial sense, we will also support Puerto Rico's economy and job creation for the Island," explains Jesús Méndez, VP of Puerto Rican Operations at Doral. "For that reason, delivering our promise of making the difference in our communities, this year we increase the aid given through the initiatives of this program," he added.

Mujeres d Éxito launched in 2011 and has had a positive impact on over 500 women through capital and mentorship. The bank's program has also propelled the creation of over 50 jobs, all in businesses led by women.


Thanks to Mujeres d Éxito and its initiative Despegue Empresarial, María de Jesús Rodríguez, owner of a business that cultivates coriander and hydroponic lettuce, launched the brand VerdeEs, which boasts the stamp "100% crianza y cosecha de Puerto Rico" (100% grown and cultivated in Puerto Rico). María de Jesús distributes her product to Puerto Rican public school's kitchens. One of the 10 women who has already benefitted from Despegue Empresarial, María de Jesús drives the Country's economy forward with a product that is 100% Puerto Rican and provides for the Island's consumer needs. Despegue Empresarial has benefitted 10 businesses led by women and has created over 30 jobs.

This year, Despegue Empresarial will give up to $50,000 to twenty small businesses led by women. Five women will be selected to obtain $25,000 as a grant and $25,000 as a loan. Also, 15 other businesses will receive $30,000 in the form of a loan. These loans' terms will be more flexible than those of the market, and the gains obtained through their repayment will feed Fondo Doral, based at Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico.

A committee that gathers professional women, leaders in their respective industry, will select and mentor the women of Despegue Empresarial. They are: Esq. María Teresa Szendrey, partner at Fiddler, González y Rodríguez; CPA Dervin Cabassa, Senior Tax Manager at BDO Puerto Rico; Eva Vázquez, Senior Manager at Grupo Guayacán; Tere Dávila, Partner and Creative Director at advertising agency Lopito, Ileana & Howie; Patricia de La Torre, Editor of Caras Magazine; Cristina Collazo, owner of Valija Gitana stores; Desirée Lowry, co-owner of the de Miss Universe Franchise of Puerto Rico and President of Runway Media and Desirée Lowry Centro de Refinamiento y Modelaje; and Lucienne SVP Marketing, Public Relations and Community at Doral.

Those interested in participating of Despegue Empresarial should fill out the application found at doralbank.com/mujeresdexito and hand it in before June 24th, 2013 at 5:00pm at Doral Bank, Ave. Roosevelt #1451.


Success is also evident in the entrepreneurs benefitted by Fondo Doral, a special fund in alliance with Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico to support the development of microloan programs in nonprofit organizations. Fondo Doral has created 14 new businesses led by women, which, in turn, have created 28 jobs in varied industries such as tourism, art, education, food service and finance. Nine of these jobs correspond to the city of Vieques, through the nonprofit Incubadora Microempresa Bieke, one of the organizations that obtained capital through Fondo Doral.

"Women are drivers of economic development. It is a fact evidenced in multiple studies, and one we believe to be true at Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico. Collaborating with Doral for the second year in a row by administering Fondo Doral, part of the program Mujeres d Éxito, fills us with satisfaction. This collaboration lets us be part of the strengthening of the nonprofit sector to provide the capital needed to promote auto-employment. We are convinced that if we strengthen the entrepreneurial capacity of women, we will also strengthen the economic activity of their communities," mentioned Dr. Nelson I. Colón-Tarrats, President of Fudación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico.

Karimar Meléndez is testimony of Fondo Doral's active help. The aid Karimar received through this initiative opened her doors to establish Discovery House, a center of bilingual development for children that promotes emotional, physical, intellectual and social development of children at a very early age. At Discovery House, they provide opportunities for each child to become instructed with a second language, as well as values and morals that better the quality of our citizens. With Fondo Doral's help, Karimar obtained equipment and materials that facilitate the learning methods. She also expanded and made improvements to her business space.

This year, Fondo Doral will help new nonprofits such as: Corporación para el Financiamiento Empresarial del Comercio y de las Comunidades (COFEC), y Comerciantes Unidos para el Desarrollo Comunitario en Camuy (CUDCC).

Also, Doral will renovate the support to the organizations already established during the first year: Incubadora Microempresa Bieke at the city of Vieques, Corporación para el Desarrollo Económico de Trujillo Alto (CDETA), Corporación para el Desarrollo Económico de Ceiba (CDEC) and Oficina para la Promoción y el Desarrollo Humano (OPDH).

Fondo Doral's total investment will be $100,000 to support this alternate web of community financing that exists in Puerto Rico, which provides for the first opportunity many micro entrepreneurs need.


Internado Doral has offered a first work experience to about a dozen students from the allied universities. In addition, through the initiative Style a Student, Doral has prepared students undergoing their senior year of college for their first job with leaderships and work ethics workshops.

This year, we continue offering internship employment to students of the partnered universities: Universidad del Sagrado Corazón; University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus; University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón campus; Universidad del Turabo; and Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. The next internship session begins in August, along with the school semester.


Mujeres d Éxito's expansion initiative, Ruta Mujeres d Éxito, returns this year with 4 stops in new locations: Mayagüez, Ponce, Río Grande and Hato Rey. The events will take place throughout the month of June, every Saturday of the month, and will be led by a team of professionals who will offer tools to the participants, free of charge.

"Mujeres d Éxito is evidence that, through alliances, we can make a great difference in our communities. In only one year we have created around 50 jobs, we have witnessed the growth of over 20 businesses, and we have granted professional tools to over 500 women across the Island. This year, we aim to go even further, helping more women reach their goals," said Lucienne Gigante, SVP Marketing, Public Relations and Community at Doral Bank.

Doral has established a commitment to Puerto Rican women in the past through initiatives like Pink, Ruta Pink, and Women's Leadership Network. Mujeres d Éxito is now the main Doral community program. The bank also leads initiatives such as d parques, d hogares and d museo.

For the calendar and more information on this program, click on www.doralbank.com/mujeresdexito and www.facebook.com/doralbank

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