New opportunities arise to continue strengthening the creative sector.
By the Integrated Communications Team
With a collaborative vision and foresight, Sagrado launched an initiative for the development of Santurce’s creative industries to fuel the implementation of sustainable economic processes.
This was how La CEPA, Comunidad Empresarial de Nuestro Barrio: Distrito Cultural de Santurce (the Entrepreneurial Community of our Barrio: Santurce Cultural District) was born. La CEPA is calling for the recruitment of 10 to 12 of these businesses that are committed to their barrios but need support to get structured, diversify their offering, or identify new business opportunities.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data and United Nations classifications, the economic contribution of these businesses in Puerto Rico is $1.75 million, and they report 18,181 jobs, which renders them a critical component for socio-economic development.
“The best part of this industry is its capacity to have an impact on other sectors and its domino effect, which is truly beneficial. We want to continue supporting this sector given that we have acknowledged it as a field of great opportunities,” said Javier de Jesús Martínez, director of the Collaborative Innovation Center, Neeuko.
Businesses engaged in architecture, craftsmanship, performing arts, culinary arts, visual arts, software development, graphic design, fashion goods, communications media, museums, books, galleries, bookstores, music, publishing, and advertising, among others, may request enrollment in the program.
“We currently have some 250 creative businesses in Santurce that are in need of support, and we know that with the proper boost, they have the potential to develop great projects, and that’s why we are here, to advise them,” De Jesús said.
Some of the benefits that La CEPA will offer include access to co-work space at the university campus with internet connection and telephone service, as well as support, consulting, and mentoring from the staff of our Business Department, the Ferré-Rangel School of Communications, the Interdisciplinary School of Humanistic and Social Studies (FIEHS, Spanish acronym), and Neeuko. They can also take advantage of business education workshops and receive support for the development and marketing of a minimum viable product (MVP).
According to Marleen Martínez, program manager, La CEPA seeks to have different organizations with distinct ideas gathered in a single place. “One of the opportunities that La CEPA offers is a space where collaboration between entrepreneurs are possible. We bear witness to the potential for success of these collaborations, which is something that we want to continue fostering,” she expressed.
In addition, Javier Hernández, director of the Business Administration Department, stressed the importance of the university’s involvement in this type of initiatives. He also stated that, with this project, the university assumes a responsibility toward economic development and toward achieving the goal of fostering a healthier environment not only for the cities involved, but for Puerto Rico.
“The Island needs economic development strategies, and economic development strategies are mainly a joint effort between institutions, opportunity areas, and impact territories. You can see this scenario in Santurce, where this joint effort is seemingly natural and perfect: Santurce, the creative industries, and academia. Since this is where we are located, we are duty-bound to the area. Santurce is where most creative industries are and these are a priority for Sagrado,” Hernández concluded.
This initiative is possible thanks to a $400,000 appropriation that the university received from the U. S. Economic Development Administration to support the acceleration of creative industries in our barrio. If you wish to enroll in this program, click here.