Success Stories

In 1970, after completing his military service in Panama and Germany during the Vietnam War, US Army Veteran Pedro Córdova, relocated with his wife Mary Margaret “Mimi” McCloskey, to native Puerto Rico. 

Pedro had served with the ROTC while he was studying for his bachelor’s in Business Administration.  Once completed, he went on to obtain his Juris Doctor and later applied to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Back in Puerto Rico, he worked as an attorney in the private sector and was also the Executive Aide to Teodoro Moscoso, renowned Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO).

“An opportunity presented itself for a confectionery at Plaza Las Américas,” Pedro says. “I spoke with my wife Mimi and we decided to go for it.”

Plaza Las Américas, located in San Juan, is the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean, with over 300 stores.  Pedro knew nothing about confectionery or chocolate making, but he associated with... Read More

In November 2012, physician and surgeon of the foot Regina Flippin started her practice Urban Foot Care in Christiansted, St. Croix with two employees and plenty of determination.  She already had nine years of experience, having run a successful practice in Milwaukee since 2003.

“My husband had retired after 32 years of federal service and we were looking for someplace warm to put down roots,” says the Memphis native.

Flippin specializes in surgically correcting foot deformities. For several years, she ran a successful practice, giving her all to save feet that would have otherwise been amputated, due to diabetes and other diseases. But in September 2017 Hurricane Maria destroyed what she had worked so hard at creating.

An e-mail about a US Small Business Administration (SBA) program would change the course of Flippin’s practice. The surgeon learned of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders training series for established small businesses. She applied to the program and a... Read More

Woman Entrepreneur takes aged cheese and yogurt manufacturing to another level with assistance from SBA programs and services

In Puerto Rico, more milk is produced than consumed. Almost a decade ago, Wanda Otero took advantage of that excess milk to create the first artisan aged cheese on the island.

The venture began when Wanda, a licensed microbiologist who has been analyzing milk for over 25 years, moved her milk quality assessment lab from Manatí to Hatillo, on the island’s northern coast, to provide advice on quality control of milk to more than 200 dairy farms in Puerto Rico. Her lab advised dairy farmers so that they could comply with the sanitary controls demanded by local regulatory agencies.

“Many of the farmers could not afford the expense of lab services,” says Wanda. “Their debt was beginning to accumulate, so to help them I gave them the... Read More

In 2009, at the age of 19 and in his second year of Engineering studies in college, upon learning that he was about to become a father Edwin Tirado decided that starting his own business would be the best way to provide for his family.

He began baking in the garage at his parents’ home in Naranjito, a town in the central region of Puerto Rico. Naming the business Charlotte’s Sweets after his child’s mother, Edwin set up shop at a shopping mall in Naranjito, and over the following six months sold cakes and other sweets.

His baked goods proved to be successful, and Edwin decided to expand his offerings, venturing into making various flavors of frappes, including a Nutella-based that remains the most famous to this day.

“All our frappes have a natural fruit base and we add the sweets of your choosing,” Edwin says. “You name it, and we decorate it the way you want.”

Edwin moved from Naranjito and set up a four feet by eight feet wagon on the road from Añasco... Read More

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