With the purpose of supporting small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to create operational continuity strategies in the event of any emergency, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), Manuel Laboy Rivera, announced that as of September 15, the “Reinforcement PyMe”, an initiative that involves a series of workshops aimed at offering the necessary tools to achieve business resilience.
“In the DDEC we have the duty to promote initiatives to strengthen the economic sectors that promote the development of Puerto Rico. The objective of Reinforcement PyMe, is to provide a comprehensive schedule of training that allows the continuation of business. The past events that we have faced as a society have led us to temper the initiatives to support our entrepreneurs according to the new reality of Covid-19. Today, making use of technology, we are launching this new online training modality (webinars), through which we seek to guide and train our companies so that they are more agile, resilient and adaptable before changes ”, explained the secretary of the DDEC.
The official mentioned that among the topics that will be addressed in the workshops, are: Innovation in Times of Crisis, What is E-Commerce? Platforms and Best Practices, How to sell products and services outside of Puerto Rico, How can I sell services online ?, and How to export to the United States, LATAM, and the Caribbean, among others.
The trainings will be held together with Colmena66, the local referral network that guides entrepreneurs and merchants, and connects them with the resources they need to start or grow their businesses.
Colmena66 is a program of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (FCTIPR), whose mission is to invest, facilitate and develop the necessary capacity to strengthen the economy of Puerto Rico and the well-being of its citizens through companies focused on innovation, science and technology and its industrial base.
The chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, Lucy Crespo, stated that “the Trust has a solid commitment to small and medium businesses in Puerto Rico. Especially after identifying the great needs of this working class, especially in their economic and digitization capacities, which have intensified after Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017 and the recent disasters that have impacted their companies.
Specifically, our Colmena66 program has been present in the face of these challenges by analyzing gaps in the business ecosystem and working together with the more than 240 programs and organizations in its support network to address them ”.
The official also indicated “with this SME Reinforcement Program our main objective is to train and help businessmen, entrepreneurs and merchants not only to survive the crisis, but to rebuild and be stronger than before; and learn to develop or adapt their business models to achieve economic continuity in Puerto Rico ”.
Meanwhile, the secretary of the DDEC pointed out that since 2017 the government has led various projects, sometimes together with entities such as Colmena66, that promote entrepreneurship.
“All with the purpose of offering specialized training in the use and application of technology, so that the entrepreneur can develop new business strategies and have a digital presence.
Events such as: Back to Business: Economic Reinforcement, workshops on business continuity, establishing an ‘online’ store, best practices in E-Commerce, developing strategies and sales through social networks, among others, have contributed to creating a productive local company and capable of generating jobs and facing challenges ”, he assured.
These initiatives are in part thanks to a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, which seeks to create the basis for developing initiatives to provide training and allow continuity in business operations.