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Sheldon Whitehouse

12/06/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2018 20:28

Social Enterprise Greenhouse Wins EDA Funding for Statewide Expansion

12.06.18

Washington, DC- U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that Providence-based social impact business incubator Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) has won a $257,321 competitive grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to grow the organization's footprint in Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Newport. The expansion will provide support to a more diverse population of social entrepreneurs as they create jobs and grow Rhode Island's innovation economy.

'The Social Enterprise Greenhouse is proving that Rhode Island entrepreneurs can do well while doing good in the community,' said Whitehouse. 'With this federal grant, the Social Enterprise Greenhouse can help scale the success of more small businesses that are creating jobs and making Rhode Island a better place.'

'I've long been a proponent of the work done at the Social Enterprise Greenhouse,' said Langevin. 'SEG has already helped several Rhode Island entrepreneurs launch businesses that have a positive social and economic impact, and this funding will help further expand the reach of its valuable services.'

'Social Enterprise Greenhouse has and continues to be a great partner in helping entrepreneurs develop and succeed in creating market-driven solutions to social problems,' said Cicilline. 'This funding will help continue their tradition of developing a strong work force in Rhode Island and creating an economy that works for everyone.'

SEG provides social entrepreneurs with the tools and networks they need to thrive. An expanded footprint will allow SEG to serve and connect entrepreneurs operating outside of Providence. The federal grant will support a market assessment, the recruitment of entrepreneurs, and technical assistance and ongoing support for social ventures.

'The SEG Community is honored and thrilled to receive this award from the EDA,' said Kelly Ramirez, CEO of SEG. 'The support will enable us to more intentionally expand our footprint into communities across Rhode Island, particularly those designated as opportunity zones. The end goal is to ensure that more businesses and entrepreneurs have access to and can leverage the resources of Rhode Island's entrepreneurship ecosystem.'

The funding was awarded as part of the EDA's i6 Innovation Challenge, which supports the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship across the country.

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