The prolonged economic recession in Puerto Rico is not news to Puerto Ricans. We are besieged by information reminding us of the extent of the effect of the situation on our social and economic fabric.
Although some are convinced the outlook is discouraging, others, in contrast, search for a different meaning to the crisis, seeing it as the genesis of new opportunities. They are the ones who decide to pursue their development in their native land and launch successful ideas to achieve a better quality of life and finances.
According to Jorge García Noya, Executive Vice President and Director of the Commercial Credit Division, the local economy has not shown sustained growth for nine years, so many have looked for alternative sources of income.
“The motivations that lead a person to open a business are varied, from those who have had good jobs and are forced to become entrepreneurs, to those who want to be their own bosses,” he explained.
Reinventing yourself is not a cliché, it’s a possibility
More than a few people have reinvented themselves and given wings to their ideas. Whether working in areas where they are skilled or discovering hidden talents they can capitalize on, these new entrepreneurs have converted their skills into an additional or principal source of income.
Such is the case of Eniel Torres, who recalled the beginning of his business Productos La Finca. Eniel studied mechanical engineering and law, but currently works in the food industry, manufacturing consumer products.
Eniel told how when he graduated in 1999 he began manufacturing seasonings called “Pollochón” and “Pavochón” and developed the Maga brand. Over time, he expanded his business, introducing products such as bacalaítos, rice pudding, oats, corn meal and flour, among others.
Today, Eniel’s business produces more than 50 products, which are distributed not only on the Island, but also in New York and Florida.
“Over the years, you get more sophisticated in your processes and not only observe consumer habits, but also anticipate consumers’ needs. In the same way, I turn to my bank for consultation, advice and to request a loan to continue expanding my business,” Eniel added.
It’s necessary to take your business to the next level
Certainly, for those who have proven their idea is successful and consistent, García Noya recommends constantly analyzing ways in which the business can be made more efficient and which areas where it can be improved.
“It is essential to reinvent yourself all the time and not wait for a crisis, because conformism is a recipe for failure. A business person should measure himself or herself constantly to become more effective every day,” said García Noya. He warned that while a crisis can force changes, we should not necessarily wait for that to happen before taking action or exploring new ideas.