The Puerto Rican workforce: an invaluable asset that startups need

The 18th dimension
3 min readJun 3, 2022

At parallel18’s international acceleration program, P18, we’ve offered to more than 240 startups from around the world access to high-quality business education, financing, and networking opportunities to help them scale globally. Furthermore, we have another invaluable resource for the startups that participate in our program: a thriving Puerto Rican workforce.

If you’ve asked yourself how the working class is currently developing and how it contributes to the scaling of international startups, we broke it down for you:

Our culture is the best of both worlds

First of all, many Puerto Ricans are bilingual and bicultural, as we seamlessly fuse the U.S. and LATAM culture. In other words, we’re raised completely immersed in the Latino culture while being highly influenced by U.S. cultural values as we form ourselves as professionals from any given discipline. Additionally, having two cultures collide offers professionals of the island a competitive mindset within local and international markets.

Fresh talent year over year!

More than 40,000 students are currently graduating from the island’s accredited universities. Also, 23.3% of the graduates are specialized in a STEM major; compared to 11.4% in the United States. With more than 10 public campuses, the students are more than prepared and will help startups scale up into international markets!

A resilient working class

After the impact of hurricane Maria, the havoc of the past earthquakes, and the global pandemic, the island faced many adversities and challenges. Along the years, many Puerto Ricans have readapted to the new reality and continue to innovate in a way that benefits our economy and its ecosystem. In perspective, since the major hurricane hit the island, the rate of new businesses increased by 28% in comparison to the year before the tropical event.

Remote and self-employed professionals on the rise

Over 169,000 (15.8%) of the island’s workforce is self-employed. This number has been on the rise since the beginning of the global pandemic and most of these professionals have adapted a remote work format. Consequently, our alumni from the international program p18 (240+ startups) and the local program pre18 (130+ Puerto Rican startups) tend to hire more freelancers that can keep working on their international startups from any part of the world! In other words, the recruited professionals can contribute to the local economy and can also be part of international markets.

Be part of the ecosystem through our Talent App

Speaking of local talent… when you become a #p18ner or #pre18ner, you have complete access to our talent app! This exclusive online platform provides over 2,000 profiles of freelancers, students searching for an internship, and other professionals currently seeking opportunities in many industries.

According to the Talent App’s data, our startups alumni have hired 13 employees or freelancers in 2021 through the recruiting platform.

If you’re interested in more information about parallel18 and our programs, visit parallel18.com . Send your questions to our email: cobi@parallel18.com

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The 18th dimension

Parallel18 is an innovation hub that represents a unique gateway for global startups to scale from Puerto Rico.