El Centro para Puerto Rico is a nonprofit organization that fights against poverty and inequality in disadvantaged communities in the Island through principles of empowerment and self-sufficiency. The primary focus of the Center are women, as they head close to 70% of the households lead by a single parent living in poverty. However, we also serve other disadvantaged groups such as: high school adolescents and young and mature adults of both genders.

Our primary interventional methods seeks to develop capabilities from the bottom up, allowing the participants to design their own path to a better future, away from the traditional dependency on government support. A comprehensive capacity building program has been developed in two main areas: entrepreneurial and community development. Research has shown the positive outcomes achieved through business development and community organizing as means to fight poverty.

Through a sixteen (16) weeks capacity building sessions covering over twenty (20) practical topics geared toward starting up a business of their own, the entrepreneurial development program prepares the participant not only on the technical aspects of creating and running a business, but also assist in creating the conditions which instill confidence and a can do attitude, which is critical when working with new business ventures. The community development program goes beyond the individual approach of the entrepreneurial program, as it work collectively with the community group, developing the capacity to face community challenges and become prepared to organized and lead initiatives toward the solutions of their problems.

Both programs have impacted more than 3,000 participants, creating or supporting over 700 hundred new business and more than 1,800 jobs. Many communities around Puerto Rico have created their sustainability initiatives supported by the Center Community Development Programs which includes around 30 Community Technology Centers, Radio Programing and Broadcasting weekly shows to serve their communities, Resiliency Hubs to support their residents in emergency situations and Multiservice Centers to provide educational and health services, among many other initiatives.
All these managed from our Center in Río Piedras which also have a Community Library offering a variety of community outreach programs to underserved residents of the surrounding areas and providing access to computer equipment and Wi-Fi services. Another Women Business Center in collaboration with the Small Business Administration serves the Puerto Rico’s Western Region. Altogether more than 51,000 participants have received services from our institution.

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Joined 11 - 26 - 2019