In December 2018, Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) was awarded a $257,321 competitive grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to expand their programming to serve entrepreneurs and businesses in regional satellite locations including Pawtucket and Central Falls, and Newport. The goal of the expansion is to ensure that more businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly those in designated Opportunity Zones, have access to and can leverage resources of Rhode Island’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, SEG has supported social entrepreneurs from across the state with the tools and networks to start and grow businesses that positively impact their communities and the world. The organization offers a menu of business development services, including an Incubator program and Accelerator program, that support social enterprises at any stage. These services are made possible in collaboration with community partners and a volunteer network of over 300 business and community leaders who contribute their time and expertise.
“We gained not only in establishing new opportunities for our profit and mission driven business, but also in helping staff members become completely familiar with [the] business plan and able to consider the strategic implications of their day-to-day work,” said Howie Sneider, Executive Director of The Steel Yard about their experience with the SEG Impact Accelerator. Since working with SEG beginning in 2007, The Steel Yard has increased its public project sales from $75,000 to $250,000.
In each regional satellite location, SEG will first seek to understand 1) the existing resources and tools available to entrepreneurs and business owners and 2) the unique needs of local entrepreneurs and business owners. In addition to leveraging SEG’s existing network and proven model, the organization will work to develop new services and partnerships as well as adapt existing services to best serve the needs of each community. Special consideration will be paid to ensuring SEG’s programming is additive to existing efforts.
“SEG is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the social venture ecosystem in both the Newport and the Pawtucket and Central Falls areas. We are honored to have the opportunity to learn from and partner with community stakeholders, and provide value add services and network connections to businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Kelly Ramirez, CEO of Social Enterprise Greenhouse.