Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™ - Puerto Rico?

A four-week intensive business training and grant opportunity designed to challenge you to apply innovative, community-based solutions to help bridge the health equity gaps in Puerto Rico. Applications are accepted March 2-April 2. Candidates chosen for the accelerator will receive training that covers design thinking, customer discovery, marketing positioning, brand development, and business storytelling. Qualifying candidates will present their businesses to a panel of judges on June 16 at the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico for a chance at up to $15,000  in grant funding. The first-place finalist will receive a $10,000  grant and be invited to present their business story at the national EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator finale in Washington D.C. on October 8, 2020.  The second-place finalist will receive a $5,000 grant.

What is the National EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™?

A national program designed for social entrepreneurs and organizations with community-based solutions addressing health barriers in U.S. communities. The 2020 national accelerator will launch in May and conclude in Washington D.C. in October.

Find out more.

What does it cost to apply?

This program is provided at no cost to you other than your time, dedication and the belief that the impossible can be possible.

Who should apply?

Puerto Ricans living on or off the island (born on the island or their descendants up to the third generation) Puerto Rico residents

  •  Social Entrepreneurs
  •  Tech Entrepreneurs
  •  Non-Profits*
  •  Startups in ideation mode or that have been in business for 5 years or less*
  •  Applicants must be 18 or older

*For established businesses/organizations, pick one focus/project that you are already running or one that you would like to jump start for this application.

What are the minimum requirements?

 Internet: Most of our interactions will happen virtually, so you’ll need to have reliable access to the internet. Occasionally, we will host video conferences and we’d love to see your face, so having access to a video camera and headphones will ensure an optimal experience. Your existing desktop or laptop video camera should be fine.

Time: Plan to devote at least four to six hours per week to your individual work and any virtual group activities. We’ll coordinate calendars to find the best time to meet once we have a group identified.

Do I have to be from Puerto Rico to apply for the Accelerator? You must be a current resident of Puerto Rico or Puerto Rican (born on the island or their descendants up to the third generation) living on or off the island.

Will presentations be in English or Spanish?

Training will be offered in English and can be provided in Spanish if needed. However, if you advance to the national accelerator, the presentation will only be in English.

How can I advance to the National Business Accelerator? The first-place grant recipient will automatically move on to the national business accelerator in Washington D.C. In October.


Statement of Relationship

YWCA SBDC is collaborative partner of the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED to Serve.

Statement of Relationship