SAN JUAN – Given the socioeconomic reality facing Puerto Rico, the Cooperative Development and Investment Fund (FIDECOOP) announced on Monday the availability of funds and technical support to enable and strengthen cooperative enterprises.
“The economic reality we live in, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched many people who seek to be self-sustaining into entrepreneurship. Cooperative companies promote the development of collective initiatives and it is undoubtedly the business tool for this, and our mission at FIDECOOP is to facilitate their establishment and development ”, explained José Julián Ramírez Ruiz, executive director of the entity.
Ramírez Ruiz explained that, prior to having access to the funds, cooperative entrepreneurs must demonstrate knowledge and commitment to this philosophy and its values. With the advice of FIDECOOP, emerging cooperatives will carry out feasibility analysis, business plans, operational processes, and the incorporation procedures required in Puerto Rico for this business model.
“Cooperative entrepreneurship is viable. We have seen him working hand in hand with dozens of cooperative members who organize themselves to provide the country with products and services of excellence, creating jobs and meeting the needs of their communities, ”said Ramírez Ruiz.
Currently, FIDECOOP maintains 15 financings to 11 cooperatives of various types. He mentioned that, among the sectors of cooperative companies that have the support of FIDECOOP, are: providers of education services, the agricultural sector, the needle industry, young entrepreneurs in the food industry, retail, electrical services and health, among others.
Ramírez Ruiz urged entrepreneurs interested in starting as cooperative companies to request guidance through www.emprendecoop.com. FIDECOOP has four programs: education and promotion of the cooperative model; strategically designed financing for cooperatives; technical assistance and managerial support; and strengthening of savings and credit cooperatives to promote the development of small and medium enterprises through the Integrated Services Platform for Commercial Financing (SIFCO).
FIDECOOP has around 40.5 million dollars destined for the strategic financing of companies organized under the cooperative model. This fund is the product of the contributions of cooperatives in the savings and credit sector and the sector of various types, and a joint venture agreement with the government established as of 2002.
FIDECOOP also provides support and technical assistance in the development and strengthening of cooperatives, in alliance with other entities of the Cooperative Movement.