SEG awards $50K to 11 businesses, nonprofits

PROVIDENCE – Eleven small businesses and nonprofits have been awarded nearly a combined $50,000 under Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s new Microgrant Fund.

The funds of up to $5,000 apiece will help recipients apply the skills learned from SEG’s incubator and accelerator training programs, using the money to grow their ventures and ideas. The initial grant fund was created through a donation earlier this year from Christopher and Mary Elleen Patton. 

“Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem continues to grow because of SEG’s work with entrepreneurs, founders, and small business owners,” the Pattons said in a statement. “The SEG Microgrant Fund provides promising ventures with an influx of targeted investment for specific needs and will help propel business owners to new heights. It is our hope that funds like this will make our state more competitive and a more attractive place for innovative people to launch new ventures and create new jobs.” 

The grant recipients represent a broad range of initiatives that include an environmentally focused disrupter to the food service ware industry and an education consultancy focused on equity, among others, according to SEG.

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“Few things are more important for startups and entrepreneurs than access to capital. Often, small grants can make all the difference. Microgrants focused on specific needs can help unlock additional funding opportunities and can provide ventures with the necessary validation that larger investors often seek,” said SEG Interim CEO Julie Owens. “Thanks to support from Mary Elleen and Chris Patton and members of our ecosystem, we have the opportunity to invest in nearly a dozen entrepreneurs and provide capital that is directed toward tangible business efforts.”  

Grant recipients are: 

  • Empirical Nature in Providence 
  • IFundLab in Warwick 
  • Impact RI in Providence 
  • Joyuus LLC in West Greenwich 
  • Liz Dempsey Lee LLC in Needham, Mass. 
  • Lunita House in Johnston 
  • NEWERATAXES LLC in Providence 
  • Nisus Life in Stoughton, Mass. 
  • Sustainable Mocean in Middletown 
  • The Greatest You Consulting in Central Falls 
  • Wanderground Lesbian Archive/Library Inc. in Cranston