This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

How Entrepreneurship Is Helping to Save Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria savaged Puerto Rico, a man named Jesse Levin used what he'd learned as an entrepreneur and applied it to disaster relief. And it worked.

By Andy Isaacson

This story appears in the April 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Andy Isaacson

When Hurricane Maria raked across Puerto Rico last September with wind speeds of up to 155 miles per hour, it left a path of unprecedented destruction. The storm flattened houses and forests, flooded towns and made hundreds of thousands of people homeless. It knocked out most of the island's power grid, leaving nearly all 3.7 million residents in the dark, and severed 95 percent of cell networks as well as 85 percent of aboveground phone and internet cables. Eighty percent of the island's crops were decimated.

Related: Is Your Business Ready for the Next Devastating Natural Disaster?

Once the hurricane moved on, an all-too-common aftermath unfolded. Local emergency responders became overwhelmed. There was, memorably, public fighting among political officials -- San Juan's mayor versus President Trump. Relief agencies and volunteers flooded in. People who wanted to help could find long lists of organizations to donate to, though, as is typical after a disaster, it wasn't clear where the money was best spent. Dollars often flowed indiscriminately.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In