Providence announces microbusiness online training program

THE CITY OF PROVIDENCE on Thursday announced a new, 8-week online training program to help microbusinesses grow their online presence. /PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

PROVIDENCE – The city is teaming up with local business service groups and a national web hosting company to help its smallest businesses start or grow their online presence.

The Empower Providence Microenterprise Accelerator Program, unveiled by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza on Thursday, will help train up to 120 microbusinesses through an eight-week, online program. The $150,000 program, funded through a portion of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars, includes partnerships with three business services organizations selected through a competitive bidding process to recruit and administer the program: the R.I. Black Business Association, the R.I. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

The training, a series of 10 lessons focused on how to start an online business, as well as marketing, was developed in partnership with Empower by GoDaddy, the philanthropic and entrepreneurial support arm of the national web hosting company.

“Microenterprises are the backbone of our neighborhoods – they are our daycares, bodegas, food trucks, and so many other industries and businesses we rely on in our daily lives,” Elorza said in a statement. “Microenterprises face particular challenges due to their small size, and often, limited resources. We are excited to partner with GoDaddy and these excellent community organizations to provide new resources and skills to our community’s smallest businesses.”

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The program is expected to begin in October. Eligible microenterprise businesses – defined as those with five or fewer employees or sole proprietors – interested in participating can contact any of the three local business service groups: The R.I. Black Business Association can be reached by phone at 401-383-1179 or by email at info@ri-bba.org; the R.I.. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce can be reached by phone at 401-400-1340 or by email at info@rihispanicchamber.org; Social Enterprise Greenhouse can be reached by phone at 401-272-2558 or by email at info@segreenhouse.org.  

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com.

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