Three Latin American Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Mexico, Colombia and Puerto Rico were recognized as the most innovative in the region UPS (NYSE: UPS) announced the three winners of the third edition of the UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. The contest, which ran from September 25th to November 9th, was developed to recognize the three most innovative and successful small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the region. The winners receive up to US$25,000 in cash prizes combined along with the tuition for an Executive Leadership Program at INCAE Business School for the first place winner. The three winning SMEs were selected after careful review and consideration by a multidisciplinary panel of regional experts representing business, academia, and media sectors. "There is so much talent and innovation in the region and these award winning businesses are just proof of the promise coming from Latin America. Going through the registrations was interesting and insightful and with so many good practices, it was no easy task to narrow them down to three. However we did and these winners have shown a commitment to excellence and great potential in growth," stated Dr. Ariel C. Armony, Director of the University of Miami's Center for Latin American Studies. "UPS recognizes the importance that SMEs have on the economy of the region and through initiatives such as the UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, we want to show our support of them. Reading through all the entries has been eye opening of all the innovation going on in Latin America. Hopefully this contest and its winners will be a source of inspiration for established and startup SMEs throughout the region," said Augie Picado, vice president of Marketing for UPS Americas Region. Participants from 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean submitted entries from a widespread array of industries such as healthcare, IT, textile, business services, and manufacturing, among others. The three winners were: First place winner: Gashaball, S.A. - Mexican toy company founded in 2007, which develops, produces and distributes its own products with original ideas. The company focuses on delivering PLAY INNOVATIONS that are innovative products at affordable prices. Second place winner: C.I Kids Club Ltda. - Colombian children's footwear manufacturer founded in 1992. Listed by PROEXPORT as one of the best Colombian companies within the sector due to its innovative business model based on continuous learning. Third place winner: Jani Clean - Puerto Rican company specialized in janitorial products and services. In the 22 years they have been in the market they have positioned themselves as a company that not only offers cleaning services but also painting and maintenance of green areas, among others. The three selected SMEs were awarded with cash prizes ranging from US$25,000 for first place, to US$15,000 for second place and US$10,000 for third place. INCAE Business School, which joined efforts with UPS for this initiative, also awarded the first prize winner a scholarship to attend one of their renowned executive programs. "Having the know-how is as essential for SMEs as is having the necessary funds to operate. Our partnership with UPS is an ideal complement. At INCAE Business School we are committed to providing education to entrepreneurs and professionals furthering their expertise and giving them the tools to apply them to their businesses," said Zeidy Benavides, Executive Programs Recruitment manager INCAE. To learn more about the contest and read the full success stories of the three winners, please visit www.ups.com/premiopyme. * The 14 Latin America and Caribbean countries were: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Puerto Rico.