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By Karen Donovan, SEG Communications

The public is invited to join Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) for a festive Zoom celebration as the graduates of its Fall 2020 Impact Accelerator complete their three-month business development journey and pitch their social ventures to a live online audience. The Impact Accelerator Virtual Graduation and Pitch Night will take place on January 13, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all. Registration is available at bit.ly/SEGAcceleratorPitchNight.

Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s Accelerator is the organization’s signature venture development program. It features a 12-week blended learning experience that provides social entrepreneurs with the tools, networks, and resources to further validate their venture, understand their customer, and formalize growth strategies from fundraising to social impact measurement. Additional value is provided by one-on-one business coaching, a peer cohort model, and access to SEG’s network of expert volunteers.

SEG’s Fall 2020 Impact Accelerator started in October and was conducted entirely online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will graduate a cohort of 17 social enterprises.

“This Impact Accelerator cohort has inspired all of us at SEG with their persistence throughout challenging times in building transformative, mission-driven social ventures,” said Meg Wirth, SEG program director. “Their ventures present compelling approaches to disability justice, STEM learning for youth in Africa, perinatal education, financial literacy, and many other ongoing areas of concern for individuals and communities today. We are thrilled to play a part in their entrepreneurial journeys and congratulate them for the impact they are already having.”

SEG’s Impact Accelerator is delivered in partnership with Brown University and is funded by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Back to Work RI Initiative, Delta Dental, Newman’s Own Foundation, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and the Island Foundation. A total of 188 social ventures have graduated from SEG’s Accelerator programs since 2010.

Social ventures pitching to a live online audience on January 13 are as follows:

Astrodime LLC offers yard education and permaculture solutions to invasive species and weeds. They see the yard as an ecosystem, not just a collection of plants, and their consulting helps clients think strategically about the backyard.

Founder: Sam Smiley (they/them/theirs) of Providence, R.I.

EmTech Care Labs develops daily care management technologies for independent living and aging in place, including Care-Wallet, a mobile and web-based software to help family caregivers collaboratively manage the financial and healthcare aspects of in-home eldercare and provide timely and cost-effective long-term care.

Founder: Aarabi Balasubramanian of Cambridge, Mass.

Gnome Surf is a nonprofit Surf Therapy organization that aims to create a community for families to come as they are and to inspire a world where kids of all abilities, races, and socio-economic backgrounds have equal opportunity, love, kindness, and happiness. They accomplish this through one-on-one individual surf therapy sessions, Happy Camp Day Surfcamps, destination retreats, art therapy, eco therapy, and yoga.

Founder: Chris Antao of Fall River, Mass.

Includesign is a Rhode Island based product design company with the goal of creating products that empower individuals with disabilities around the world. Its first product, the LapSnap, is a versatile, adaptive basket designed with and for wheelchair users.

Founder: Diana Perkins of Newton, Mass.

iNERDE Inc. intends to fill the gap between the skills needed to succeed in the modern world and the skills being taught in most schools in Africa. The organization addresses Africa’s pressing need for effective STEAM education through curriculum development and dissemination, and provides professional development for teachers.

Founder: Mohamed Kante of North Providence, R.I.

LUNA Community Care is a disabled workers cooperative that provides caregiving solutions, case management, crisis support, co-working space, and access to an online and in-person mutual aid and community care group, Village Nurture, for disabled caregivers and children in Rhode Island.

Founder: Casey Gallagher, LMHC, of Providence, R.I.

My Grandson is founded on the values of compassion, care, and good, honest work within communities. It is a concierge and delivery service providing grocery and general pickup and delivery, cleaning, pet care, and yard work. Founded during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization is comprised of recent college graduates dedicated to helping those most affected by assisting with daily tasks and creating meaningful interactions.

Founder: Ned Roosevelt of Sugar Hill, N.H.

Omena is a nonprofit organization that seeks to break the cycle of emotional abuse within families and communities through support, education and advocacy. They empower children and young adults with the social and emotional intelligence tools to nurture a generation with greater self-esteem and inner strength.

Founder: Francesca Raoelison of Antananarivo, Madagascar

Otraway helps clients level up their marketing through branded products, promotions and strategic relationship building to foster a vibrant community.

President: Amanda Mottola of Warwick, R.I.

Outsider Collective is an artist community and gallery space located in the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, R.I. Their mission is to build community and belonging through art and unity for every ability and to focus on providing opportunities to artists living with differing abilities to work alongside artists of every ability.

Cofounders: Jessica Angelone and Carrie Hyde of Pawtucket, R.I.

PAWS Pet Grooming is committed to creating an environment of kindness and compassion through delivering exceptional service while respecting the needs of employees, of customers and their pets, and of the greater community. PAWS aims to inspire a sense of community around their love of pets and transform that love into greater social impact.

Founder: David O’Connor of Charlestown, R.I.

Ram Head Sports is a sports protection apparel company with their own unique patent padded products designed to protect athletes by reducing the force of an impact.

Founder: John Lopes of Pawtucket, R.I.

Root Literacy Design works with educators to empower teachers by growing evidence-based literacy practices within their own setting through consulting and coaching-centered training.

Founder: Heather Ballantine of Portsmouth, R.I.

Social Skills in Motion is a holistic center for young people that provides therapeutic interventions through sports and movement based programming and supportive services to enhance social emotional development in marginalized communities in NYC. They are committed to person centered and strength based learning, putting young people at the forefront of their own development.

Cofounders: Sara Czworniak and Giana Quinterno of New York, N.Y.

The FLY Initiative (Financial Literacy Youth) addresses the issues of disparities in financial literacy resources, cultural inequities and family engagement challenges through a culturally responsive financial literacy program. Grounded in the value of experiential learning, the program features a holistic multi-generational approach to financial wellness and understanding financial literacy concepts.

Founder: Marcy Reyes of Cranston, R.I.

Urban Perinatal Education Center provides comprehensive best practice and culturally appropriate perinatal health and wellness education to those who need it most and are adversely impacted by poor health outcomes in their reproductive life course. Located in Providence to address the lack of community-led, based, and placed information for families, UPEC is a community responsive initiative of Our Journ3i. 

Founder: Quatia Osorio of Providence, R.I.

Your Story offers multi-disciplinary self-development programs, facilitating development of wellbeing and performance practices that allow individuals to realize their purpose and live a fulfilled life.

Cofounders: Matthew Eriksen of North Kingstown, R.I., and Ariel Galipeau of Quincy, Mass.

About Social Enterprise Greenhouse

Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impact by providing social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. We also foster an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy. SEG operates statewide in Rhode Island from three programming sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Our network of 600+ enterprises and 250+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.

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