Updated March 24 at 12:29am

Change Accelerator Incubator celebrates graduation


PROVIDENCE – The 13 social ventures participating in the 2012 Change Accelerator Incubator, a Social Enterprise Rhode Island program, celebrated their graduation on Thursday evening at the Betaspring startup accelerator’s Chestnut St. headquarters.

The Change Accelerator is an eight-week social venture incubator for organizations and individuals developing “innovative solutions to unmet social needs,” according to a description on the program’s website.

During the eight-week program, teams developed a social enterprise business plan, met with a strong team of mentors and perfected their social venture pitch.

Participating teams are eligible to apply for assistance from the Rhode Island Social Enterprise Loan Fund, which receives donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and loans money to nonprofits engaged in partnerships with the program.

Social Enterprise Rhode Island is a part of Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island, a partnership of leaders from business, nonprofits, academic and government sectors working together to “advance the goals of the social enterprise community.”

The social venture programs celebrating last night’s graduation include:

  • Buy with Heart is a national online search engine and marketplace for social enterprise products and services.

  • Broken Pieces International offers a line of hand-made urban apparel and home goods designed and created by youth from Rhode Island’s at-risk West African communities .

  • GetJanes LLC provides a improved examination gown that offers security and dignity, and uses profits to support mammograms for low income women.

  • Groden Greenhouse is full-service Greenhouses in Providence that employs individuals with autism.

  • HeadsUp provides flexible and affordable kitchen space by the hour for culinary entrepreneurs, small catering businesses and food truck owners.

  • The Knowledge District Group provides low cost high quality technology solutions to social enterprises.

  • HealthAccessRI provides affordable primary care services for as low as $35 a month enabling under served communities to access low cost, reliable medical services.

  • One Onlneyville employs young Olneyville residents to provide high-quality, affordable, neighborhood-based landscaping services to the businesses and residents of Olneyville.

  • RYSE is a structured wellness program that allows women to balance the demands of health, family and career and uses profits to fund fitness programs for women in underserved communities.

  • Local First Rhode Island provides a marketing campaign to individual towns that educate the public about the importance of supporting their local, independent businesses.

  • What Grow on RI is a shared calendar, directory, and information clearinghouse for environment-related organizations

  • Windows for Opportunity are unique window blinds that offer low cost advertising solutions. They are manufactured by individuals who were previously incarcerated.

  • YIA’s Student Centered Classrooms provides student led consulting teams to help teachers master the practice of engaging their students as leaders and co-constructors of their own learning experience—transforming public education in RI.


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