With its second round of Innovation Fellowships, The Rhode Island Foundation is making investments in the state that, unfortunately, few others are stepping forward to make.
The program, conceived and underwritten by Letitia and John Carter, gives $300,000 over the course of three years to two individuals with ideas to accomplish a transformation in the Ocean State. Last year’s fellowship winners are deep into their projects – to help fill vacant storefronts in Rhode Island by building online retail businesses based here and to create entrepreneurial hubs for the design, food, social venture and advanced manufacturing sectors of the economy.
The new fellows are looking to: eradicate Hepatitis C in Rhode Island through education, testing and expanded treatment; and teach design skills and inspire entrepreneurial efforts through hands-on experiences and eventually, school curriculums.
By helping to unleash the creativity of Rhode Islanders in working for the greater good, the foundation – and the Carters – are doing a great service. But more than that, they are proving that you don’t need a huge publicly funded program to do real, transformational good. •