SOURCE: Doral Financial Corporation

July 17, 2013 09:19 ET

Doral Bank Announces Record Applications for Its Women's of Success Empowerment Community Program

Doral Bank's Community Initiative, Now in Second Year, Already Has Received Three Times the Applications From Women Seeking to Expand Their Business; Doral Expands Educational Women's Program Online

SAN JUAN, PR--(Marketwired - Jul 17, 2013) - Doral Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doral Financial Corporation (NYSE: DRL), announced it has received a record number of applications for this year's Despegue Empresarial (Women's Business Boost), an initiative within Doral's program Mujeres d Éxito (Women of Success) that provides capital and mentoring as a growth accelerator for women-owned businesses. More than 130 women have submitted applications for their business this year.

Doral also announced a change in the type of businesses that applied to this initiative with a notable increase in businesses from the agriculture industry, as well as others in consulting, finance, retail, tourism, manufacturing and design. A majority of applications received are from the Extended-Metro and West side of the island.

"We are proud that our program continues to grow and support professional and entrepreneurial women through capital and mentorship. This year's rise in applications proves the growing role of women as a key driver in our economy and we will continue with our commitment to support their future growth," said Jesús Méndez, Executive Vice President, Puerto Rico Operations for Doral Bank. 

Doral Bank also announced the online expansion of its Ruta Mujeres d Éxito (Women's of Success Tour) initiative. Under this initiative, experts provide free educational seminars on key topics for professionals or entrepreneurs such as time management, professional etiquette, marketing, communications, government permits, among others. The Doral Bank website now features a section which offers relevant advice and tools from each of the workshops offered during the tour.

20 Women-Owned Businesses to Receive $700k

As part of the Despegue Empresarial program (Women's Business Boost), five businesses will receive a capital injection of $50k each: $25k as a grant and $25k as a loan. In addition, 15 other businesses will each receive $30k each as a loan. These loans provide the recipient with flexible terms, more competitive than the ones in the market, in addition to Doral covering the loan's closing costs.

Last year's winners have reported positive sales results. Among the success stories:

  • Sandrysabel Ortiz, owner of Shoe Square, Inc. and distributor of shoe accessories, obtained national awareness when TLC chose her for its program 'The Good Buy Girls' and is distributing her products all over the world.
  •  María de Jesús, owner of Hidrocultivos Carolinenses, Inc., a hydroponic lettuce manufacturer, achieved a rise in sales of close to 600% and has been able to secure new clients including Coliseo de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's Premier Concert Arena.
  • Marisol Santiago, owner of Grafed Solutions, Inc., has expanded her pharmacy to add an infusion center, creating a new niche.

A committee that gathers professional women, leaders in their respective industry, will select and mentor the women of Despegue Empresarial. They are: Esq. María Teresa Szendrey, partner at Fiddler, González y Rodríguez; CPA Dervin Cabassa, Senior Tax Manager at BDO Puerto Rico; Eva Vázquez, Senior Manager at Grupo Guayacán; Tere Dávila, Partner and Creative Director at advertising agency Lopito, Ileana & Howie; Patricia de La Torre, Editor of Caras Magazine; Cristina Collazo, owner of Valija Gitana stores; Desirée Lowry, co-owner of the de Miss Universe Franchise of Puerto Rico and President of Runway Media and Desirée Lowry Centro de Refinamiento y Modelaje; and Lucienne SVP Marketing, Public Relations and Community at Doral.

Mujeres d Éxito: Positive Impact on Women in Puerto Rico

Lucienne Gigante, SVP of Marketing, Public Relations and Community of Doral Bank, stated: "In Puerto Rico, a woman leads one of every three families, yet more than 60% of women head of household in the labor force live below poverty levels."

Doral has invested more than $2M in initiatives to support women's economic development and education under the umbrella program Mujeres d Éxito (Women of Success) and including Fondo Doral (Doral Fund), Ruta Mujeres d Éxito (Women's Success Tour), Despegue Empresarial (Women's Business Boost) and Style a Student.

"Mujeres d éxito is proof that through alliances we can all make a big difference in our communities. Together we have achieved the creation of 50 new jobs, are part of the growth of over 20 businesses and provided extended education to more than 1,000 women. We at Doral are proud of the success of this community program," Gigante stated.

For more information on Mujeres d Éxito, visit and

Contact Information

  • María M. Rodríguez Matienzo
    Public Relations Coordinator
    Email Contact