The Entrepreneurship Center for Women in Puerto Rico’s Agriculture was established in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2007, supported by USDA/CSREES funds through a Southern Region Risk Management Education Center, TAMU grant. The mission was to empower women to contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic development. A total of 268 women were impacted during Phases I-III. The specific objectives were first, to improve farm business profitability by enhancing agribusiness management skills; and second, contribute to the transformation of women in agriculture, from keeping a passive role, to perceiving themselves as entrepreneurs. Topics included agribusiness management, marketing, finance, risk management, and legal aspects, as well as self-esteem enhancement activities. Assessments show that women began to use electronic tools for financial planning and began to develop business plans. Now, over two thirds identify themselves as entrepreneurs and their self-esteem improved.
Since 2011 a USDA-NRCS grant has made possible the continuation of the Center for an additional Phase (IV). The Center’s new vision is to empower women engaged in agricultural activities to contribute to Puerto Rico’s sustainable economic development, which will be accomplished through the fulfillment of the specific objectives of the previous phases, plus an additional objective: enable the adoption of soil conservation practices among participants by demonstrating their benefits to current operators as well as to future generations. Two groups of women operators or managers were trained in 2011 and the Center keeps receiving requests from women who want to participate, showing the need to form additional groups.
|Conference||2012 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|