By Ted Nesi
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Social Venture Partners Rhode Island, a nonprofit that provides guidance to other organizations, has announced the first class of eight social entrepreneurs selected for its new Change Accelerator incubator program.
The Change Accelerator is an eight-week mentor program for small organizations that offers workshops about startup topics, mentoring, business-plan refinement and early-stage seed capital.
The program’s first class of eight social entrepreneurs, as chosen from 20 applicants and described by its organizers, are:
The Change Accelerator opened on Monday at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Providence. It was inspired by Betaspring, a 12-week incubator program for startup companies launched in the city last year, after being conceived at SVPRI’s Social Enterprise Summer, held at Bryant University last November.
The Change Accelerator’s primary funding is a $20,000 grant from the Knowledge Economy Initiative, which is overseen by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s nonprofit foundation and the City of Providence. The initiative’s money comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
“This type of program is designed to help grass-roots ideas and business models aimed at social change both here and abroad to scale fast and grow quickly,” Laurie White, the chamber’s president, said in a statement.
Brown University’s Social Innovation Initiative and the Rhode Island School of Design’s Office for Public Engagement are also Change Accelerator sponsoring partners.
Founded in 2002, Social Venture Partners Rhode Island takes donations from local professionals and uses the money to help nonprofits become more effective and sustainable. It is part of a global network of Social Venture Partners groups.
Additional information is available at socialenterpriseri.org.