Want to help Puerto Rico? Start with its local businesswomen

The Animus Summit is the largest female innovation summit of the Americas, and this year on December 1st in San Juan, they’re dedicating it to the rebuilding of Puerto Rico. The goal of the summit is to bring awareness and recovery to the people and economy of Puerto Rico, after a long, ten-year recession and the devastating Hurricane Maria.

The summit is dedicated to helping female-run businesses — it is structured to help women’s growth within their businesses, personal goals, and entrepreneurship. It also helps with introductions to business opportunities, and creates a place for Puerto Rican local brands to show their products and businesses to get feedback and more.

Animus is also going to donate 30% of all the proceeds from regular admission tickets to the Ricky Martin Foundation, set out to rebuild LOIZA, one of the poorest areas of Puerto Rico. They are also selling tickets at a 30% discount rate, in order to give those who want to attend a better way to afford it. This price drop will also allow more locals to attend.

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The co-founders of Animus, Lucienne Gigante and Carlos Cobian, believe that the female-run businesses of Puerto Rico are the “key to the island’s recovery.” I also asked the cofounders how people not in attendance could help Puerto Rico. “Every action, no matter how small, matters. Speak up, mentor, answer that unsolicited e-mail to open a door to someone; it all works together producing a change in mindset and collective action towards equality,” said Lucienne.

“For those that can’t attend the summit, the best way to help advance Animus’ agenda on female empowerment and women’s economic growth is to follow our feed because we’ll be coming to Miami and New York City very soon, sometime in 2018,” Carlos told Galore. “So if you can’t make it out to Puerto Rico, we’ll be near you very soon. But now, the best way to assist Puerto Rico during times of distress is to help boost our economy by shopping from one of the island’s local makers or hiring a freelance entrepreneur for your business.”

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So, you can wait until Animus comes to a city in the US, or, you can start small by shopping small — use the link above to check out the small businesses of Puerto Rico that can help business women, and in turn, help Puerto Rico’s economy and growth. And, if you happen to be in Puerto Rico, I recommend getting a ticket if you want to be introduced to some badass people looking to help women develop their businesses, and to check out some amazing female run local businesses as well.

Linked below is some of our favorite businesses that will be involved in the Animus Summit. Be sure to follow them on social media, so that you can stay updated on how and where to attend in the future!

1. Co.Co Haus

This business is a co-working space in Santurce. It’s meant for collaboration with peers and a community-centric vibe.

2. Executive Virtual Assistants

This company provides a team to complete virtual administrative tasks. So you can get hire an administrative assistant through the company, to lower operating costs and to allow every employee to work on business only.

3. Papaya Tropical

This company runs an educational program, to help raise awareness on topics such as sexuality, and other social norms. We particularly love this one for its’ important job of educating young adults on these topics that can be so confusing at a young age.

4. OM Studio

Laura OM, aka, “the queen of curls,” runs OM Studio beauty salon, that celebrates Latino men and women and all hair styles and types. The salon also only uses all natural hair products.

5. ConCalma

This bag line is designed by founder Matilsha Marxuach, and the bags are manufactured at an industrial women-owned factory in Utuado, Puerto Rico. The brick-and-mortar store has been without power since the storm, so they’re relying on their website more than ever.

6. Bien Cool

This was started as a side job to pay for one founder’s student loans and the other’s new apartment. Now, their shop sells kitschy, cute clothes and accessories.

7. Buena Gente

This consulting firm is bilingual for all your business needs. So if your company has any big projects coming up, maybe tap them instead of the usual people.

Photos by Jose R. Madera

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