15 New Social Ventures Graduate from SEG’s COVID-19 Response Incubator

Providence, R.I. (July 30, 2020) – Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) announced today that 15 new social ventures have graduated from its COVID-19 Response Incubator program. The seven-week virtual program, which started in June, focused on addressing social and public health challenges that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Participants identified a specific problem and worked to develop an early-stage idea to directly address the impact COVID-19 is having on communities.

“Our COVID-19 Response Incubator integrated design thinking and social enterprise throughout the curriculum and drew participants from Rhode Island and four other states,” said SEG program director Meg Wirth. “It was a privilege to work with this group of dedicated social entrepreneurs, who persisted in developing their ideas for businesses that will serve people’s needs in these uncertain times. We’re inspired by their ventures and know they will create jobs and improve their communities, in our state and beyond.”

Graduating participants and social ventures are:

› David Ahlborn, Junia Janvier, and Beyanca Guilme, Providence
Liberational Arts Collective, a youth-led leadership development platform that will empower young adults to impact their communities through social entrepreneurship and advocacy.

› Susan Ahlstrom, Ridgefield, Conn.
Lighter and Brighter Wellness, a service that supports women and youth by teaching self-regulation and self-care skills in order to reduce stress and anxiety, using tapping techniques.

› Lauren Alvarez, Providence
A greengrocer with a pop-up model that can deploy to neighborhoods as needed, providing fruits and vegetables to supplement the staples that are available at convenience stores and corner markets, focused on being cost-effective, mobile-ready, and scalable when needed.

› Martha Donovan, Barrington, and Wendy Black, Warwick
Bilingual play-based learning kits that provide engaging materials for children, help families support children’s developmental growth, creativity, and critical thinking during play, and provide teachers with activities aligned to the RI Early Learning Domains.

› Dorian Harding-Morick, New Haven, Conn.
A disposable membrane (and dispenser) which provides a barrier between a user and a keyboard.

› Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley, Saint Joseph, Minn.
A food truck that celebrates global flavors in Central Minnesota and serves as a vehicle for immigrant women to bring their talents to the fore, develop leadership skills and business acumen, build social and economic capital, and realize their full potential.

› Jo Lee, Providence
An extension to the PopUp Rhody marketplace service that provides creative ways for businesses to extend their market to a social-distancing world.

› Jeffrey Matteis, Cranston
Earf (Elevating All Regenerative Farmers), cooperative resource sharing for farmers, along with multimedia content that tells a new story around local food and demonstrates resilience and hope, further shifting the culture towards a more regenerative way of being.

› Luisa C. Murillo, Providence
Sandy’s App, an easy-to-use app that allows people to donate pet food, diapers, and feminine hygiene products to help nonprofits, food pantries, and shelters during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

› Stephanie Nitka, Pawtucket
Intensive community engagement that taps the knowledge, talents, skills, and passions of local people to identify issues and solutions and creates employment opportunities, using creative arts as a tool for engagement.

› Annelise Rice, Providence
A service that offers an alternative route from the traditional divorce courts and provides support and resources to individuals and families who are going through a divorce.

› Ned Roosevelt, Sugar Hill, N.H.
My Grandson, a personal concierge service that caters to those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and helps to strengthen the bond between generations.

› Bradly VanDerStad, Providence
Providence Growing Businesses Coalition, a private community-focused nonprofit that functions to promote Providence as a business destination, connects businesses to college graduates, and much more.

› Rishma Vora, Manlius, N.Y.
Project Olas, which offers online Spanish practice taught by moms in vulnerable Central American communities for high-impact language learning via WhatsApp.

› Kian Xie, Uxbridge, Mass.
Corporate Hidden Gem, training and consulting for patient care delivery business teams in large enterprises such as provider networks, managed care organizations, and accountable care organizations, with a focus on bringing profitable social equity to innovation and uncovering opportunities for growth as a response to COVID-19.

About Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impact by providing social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. It also fosters an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable, and resilient economy. Social Enterprise Greenhouse operates statewide out of three programming sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. To learn more, go to www.segreenhouse.org.


Karen Donovan
Communications Director