The typical Code for America model is working with a city, but we have had the privilege and challenge of working with CfA’s first territory. This is a large context to understand. Economic Development was our area and Puerto Rico has 15% unemployment and a strong trend of young, bright minds leaving for the mainland but over 50 incentives (further reading on incentives here) to try to encourage business owners and entrepreneurs to stay, invest, and grow in Puerto Rico.
In our time there, we have found that although the incentives themselves were appealing, many people were under-informed and/or confused about taking advantage of them. We concluded that our product should serve the following users:
Entrepreneurs and small business owners that don’t know what support is available to them to start, or grow their business in Puerto Rico.
Around these pain points we built first Negocio123 as a way-finding tool for the process of opening a business and then our main product PrimerPeso as a way to help our users find, identify, and apply for incentives and resources that they are qualified for and that will help them.
As we user test, we are hearing great things about what these products can do for entrepreneurs on the island:
** "PrimerPeso is a very friendly application and it provides you with what you need to get finance (…) people don’t know about what is available (…)I wish it would have existed three years ago” Arturo Lopez, founder of Huerto isleño.**
We are excited to continue to work toward meeting this challenge and helping these people.