"From Baby Boomer to Business Owner" a Successful Mentor Day in Puerto Rico
On October 2, the SBA and the AARP co-hosted the first National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Day, aimed at entrepreneurs over the age of 50, to match these “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance.
The event --Encore Entrepreneurship: from Baby Boomer to Business Owner-- attracted more than 65 people who had the opportunity to hear from SBA Deputy District Director María de los Ángeles de Jesús on the importance of having a plan to put in place after retirement. Attendees also heard from AARP State Director José Acarón, and learned about SBA's loan guaranty, government contracting, and management and technical assistance programs, in addition to sharing information during five-minute sessions with business counselors and mentors from the Puerto Rico Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Women’s Business Institute and the Puerto Rico SCORE chapter.
Read more about Encore Entrepreneurship
Natural-Born Entrepreneur Finds Niche in Food Distribution Industry
Rafael Rodríguez-Toymil has been an entrepreneur all his life.
It should come as no surprise. His father –Rafael senior— opened a gun shop after working in the insurance industry for many years, and the young Rafael spent a great deal of time helping out in the business any way he could. One day, his dad gave him a couple of boxes filled with promotional key chains, and Rafael sold them to his friends and neighbors, getting his start in the business world.
After graduating high school at Colegio Maristas in 1991, Rafael attended Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. His classes were conducted quarterly and, as part of a cooperative education program, after his freshman year Rafael was expected to study for six months and work for the next six. Upon graduating in 1996 with a double major in Accounting and Management Information Systems, Rafael had already worked at accounting firms, supermarket chains and hotels.
While those experiences gave Rafael the hands-on knowledge and training he would need down the road, they also made him realize that he didn’t want to work for anyone else again, and back in Puerto Rico he began looking for ideas to start a business of his own.
Read more about Rafael's story
SBA, Lenders and Resource Partners Meet in St. Thomas
SBA Deputy District Director María de los Ángeles de Jesús (front row, fifth from the left) visited St. Thomas a few weeks ago to conduct the last Lender's Roundtable of the fiscal year on the caribbean island.
Participants continued the discussion begun in early August on issues currently affecting small business lending and the USVI economy. They were also briefed on SBA's Government Contracting and Disaster Assistance programs.