UCF Puerto Rico Research Hub impacting local businesses with training

Dr. Fernando Rivera, founding director of the Puerto Rico Research Hub, is serving as the HBEAT program lead.

The Puerto Rico Research Hub is partnering with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and 180 Real Estate Advisors to create a six-week training program starting this month.

The program, Hispanic Business Education and Training, has a goal to grow throughout the Central Florida community through assessment and research. Its focus will be to gear the training program toward the needs of what each individual wants to learn for the steps to building a successful business.

The city of Orlando has one of the largest growing Hispanic populations. According to DataUSA, 37% of community is of Latino decent. The program is set to improve the major poverty rate of Hispanics that currently stands, 27%.

Fernando Rivera, HBEAT coordinator and lead, said that participants can expect to receive some major benefits through enrolling in the training. 

"One of the cool things about this program, once you finish, you're going to receive a kind of voucher from some continuing education credits as well that they can utilize," Rivera said. "So, it's a win for everybody."

As explained by Rivera, some of the main topics that will be demonstrated throughout the program include fundamentals of starting a business, building a brand, choosing a business and getting a minority owned business certification.

Additionally, four years after the events of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the hub is aiming to provide a necessary resource for those who could have migrated to Florida and are looking for a way to create their own "American dream".

UCF Puerto Rico Research Hub impacting local businesses with training

The Hispanic Business Education and Training program will take place from March to April for six weeks. 

As outlined in a flyer by the Puerto Rico Research Hub, local Hispanic businesses can access a variety of business development workshops. Funded by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, this cohort will be offered for free to those who are interested in starting or have an existing business and meet the criteria.

The program liaison, Zoé Colón, said students can get involved whether it's through their own business or as a part of the creative team building up the program.

The hub is looking for student coordinators to assist in promoting and marketing the courses while also bringing in connections they may have.

Colón, associate director of UCF Global Perspectives and International Initiatives, said opportunities will arise through a chain that starts in the UCF community. 

"You know, we often forget about the parents of the 60,000 plus students that we have through our network of opportunities," Colón said. "Imagine just all of the people that we could reach if we had programs like this to reach the family members of our students, right. So, I think it's an opportunity for on campus and also like the families of the students that we serve.”

Rivera said that future plans are looking bright. He said his hope is to create a variety of modules if the program goes well the first time around.

"In the future, if the program expands and we have more emphasis, we can bring more people abroad," Rivera said. "Maybe we can develop a different curriculum. So, we're looking forward to seeing what we learn from this."

Those who are interested can follow @prrh_ucf on Instagram or contact the UCF Puerto Rico Research Hub on its website for more information.

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