dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-47344.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) recently awarded nearly $50,000 to 11 distinct Rhode Island small businesses and nonprofits through its Microgrant Fund. The latest round of awards brings the total number of ventures supported through the Fund to 27. Each awardee received up to $5,000 to support key activities or obtain the necessary tools to help take ventures to the next level. The Fund was established earlier this year with an initial gift from donors Mary Elleen and Chris Patton.

“Few things are more important for startups and entrepreneurs than access to capital. Often, small grants can make all the difference. Microgrants focused on specific needs can help unlock additional funding opportunities and can provide ventures with the necessary validation that larger investors often seek,” said SEG Interim CEO Julie Owens. “Thanks to support from Mary Elleen and Chris Patton and members of our ecosystem, we have the opportunity to invest in nearly a dozen entrepreneurs and provide capital that is directed toward tangible business efforts. Funds like this bolster the state’s entrepreneurial culture.”

The businesses and organizations supported through these grants are leading a broad range of initiatives that include an environmentally focused disrupter to the food service ware industry and an education consultancy focused on equity, among others.

“Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem continues to grow because of SEG’s work with entrepreneurs, founders, and small business owners,” said SEG donors Mary Elleen and Chris Patton. “The SEG Microgrant Fund provides promising ventures with an influx of targeted investment for specific needs and will help propel business owners to new heights. It is our hope that funds like this will make our state more competitive and a more attractive place for innovative people to launch new ventures and create new jobs.”

SEG will award another round of grants early next year. All graduates of the SEG Incubator and Accelerator programs are eligible for funding. More details about the SEG Microgrant Fund can be found here. Applications for the next round will be accepted through mid March 2023. 

Since SEG launched in 2009, more than 1,800 entrepreneurs and companies have participated in SEG programs. SEG was one of the first incubation and accelerator organizations in the country to focus on social impact as a pathway to create opportunities, especially for those entrepreneurs and businesses that traditionally face barriers to access.

The microgrant recipients (with their mission statements) include:

Sustainable Mocean

Sustainable Mocean’s mission is to implement, advocate, and celebrate reusable food service ware through partnering with local restaurants and events. Our goal is to reduce or eliminate single-use service ware items so that we, as a society, may use precious, finite resources more efficiently, reduce pollution, and limit the amount of waste going to the landfill. 

iFundLab

iFund Lab provides end-to-end grant writing services to startups & small businesses seeking federal funding to develop and scale-up high-impact technology solutions. The mission of iFundLab is to reduce funding inequality by unlocking startups’ access to federal funding programs. 

Wanderground Lesbian Archive/Library, Inc.

Wanderground collects, preserves, and circulates Lesbian activisms, artistic cultural expressions, and forgotten legacies, such as (but not limited to) publications (e.g., books and periodicals), personal memorabilia (e.g., journals, letters, etc.), and a gallery of artworks, artifacts, and audiovisual recordings, and other herstorical materials. The archive produces a diverse variety of events and opportunities to interact with the Wanderground archive/library of materials and offers makerspaces to encourage the development of various forms of artistic and thought-provoking expressions.

Liz Dempsey Lee, LLC

LizDempseyLee leverages the power of the community to support educational equity initiatives. For every child to thrive, we engage, educate, and motivate all educational stakeholders through tailored programming and approachable and non-judgmental facilitation in order to accelerate the creation of equitable education for all.

Impact RI

IMPACT RI is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization aimed at helping underserved Rhode Islanders invest in their future through real estate and financial education. IMPACT RI aids Rhode Island’s underserved communities to realize financial security and sustainable housing through education, training, and improving access to equal employment opportunities.

The Greatest You Consulting

The mission of The Greatest You Consulting is to educate, collaborate and coach clients toward conscious productivity around wellness in topics such as finances, health and career to fulfill their dreams. We work in collaboration with community partners to ensure clients have access to an array of resources and opportunities.

Joyuus LLC

Lack of postpartum care has significant costs: one in three women will have a severe (often preventable) health outcome but limited or no postpartum care. Joyuus is designed to support women during postpartum, one of the most critical, but under-serviced aspects of reproductive health.

Nisus Life

Simplify nutrition and maximize wellness for women and their children at each stage of the motherhood journey. Nisus Life empowers by providing access to high quality, clean, stage specific solutions that allow our customers to make informed health decisions. We create curated supplements and snacks made from research backed ingredients that allow our customers to be proactive about improving their health outcomes.

NEWERATAXES LLC

Así que NEWERATAXES, se encarga de educar a los jóvenes adultos sobre la importancia de tener unas finanzas saludables y un crédito estable. Nuestra misión es preparar a cada individuo con herramientas que los ayuden a mantener sus finanzas estables en caso de una emergencia, a tener ahorros para la compra de una casa o para la universidad. También llenamos la falta de educación en el area tributaria donde cada persona aprende sobre la importancia de cumplir con su obligación de rendir impuestos y conocer cómo hacerlo y porqué.

Lunita House

Lunita House es una tienda de regalos artículos para la casa y artículos hechos a mano principalmente por mi …. Sabiendo el beneficio de realizar manualidades incorpore talleres de pintura, manualidades para niños y adultos porq se que al realizar manualidades nuestra mente aprende destrezas, despeja problemas y ayuda en manejo de stress.

Empirical Nature

Empirical Nature trains social impact organizations in building manageable internal practices to measure, monitor, and communicate their impact, rooted in the strategic use of data and evidence to effect greater change.

SEG has always been outcome and impact focused. Since launching, SEG’s network of ventures have grown to support more than 3,000 jobs. An estimated 80 percent of SEG Accelerator graduates are operational and employ on average five people. By comparison, the Small Business Association reports roughly half of all startups close shop within five years of founding and only 30 percent are operational 10 years after launching. SEG’s ventures are firmly rooted in social impact and span a variety of industries, including health and wellness, food and agriculture, and environment. Combined, SEG’s ventures have reached more than 5 million people.

About Social Enterprise Greenhouse: Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) accelerates impact by providing inclusive support and networks for entrepreneurs and businesses committed to positive societal and economic change. SEG fosters an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable, and resilient economy. SEG is based in Rhode Island and operates statewide virtually and from sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Its network of 1,800+ enterprises and 200+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.