Partnership Programs

Explore our partnership programs:

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2020 Nonprofit Innovation Lab

A selective six-month program offering up to 10 Rhode Island nonprofits the opportunity to transform innovative ideas into reality, enabling them to create even more social impact as they bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their organizations.

The 2020 Nonprofit Innovation Lab is an initiative of United Way of Rhode Island and Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

The goal of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab is to spark development and implementation of innovative, self-sustaining new solutions that will enable organizations to expand and accelerate their ability to create positive social impact. The program will provide participating Fellows with the knowledge, resources, and networking opportunities that make it possible for them to deliver these transformative solutions. Please note that organizations with budgets over $500K are strongly preferred for this program.

Program benefits include:
  • Opportunity to create substantial social impact: This program is designed for nonprofit executives who have identified a compelling idea that would utilize innovative business skills to solve a social problem. This program will enable these executives to dedicate the time, energy and resources required to move the needle and further their organization’s ability to achieve its mission.

  • Mentorship and expertise: Experienced mentors are paired with Fellows based on expertise and need. Mentoring can range from providing an overall sounding board to strategic problem solving in specific areas and will include facilitated connections with additional expert advisors as needed.

  • Peer network: Fellows navigate the Boot Camp and the Accelerator (described below under Program Details) as a group and benefit by learning and sharing with one another. An important component of the program is building a camaraderie with a group of like-minded leaders who serve as support and a valuable resource.

  • Seed funding: Stipends will be provided to each Fellow's sponsoring nonprofit organization, in order to help support their time. They also will have the opportunity to pitch their innovation plans and receive substantial prize money.

  • Increased visibility: The social capital of Social Enterprise Greenhouse and United Way of Rhode Island helps to increase visibility for Fellows and their nonprofit organizations through media coverage, participation in community-wide events, and digital community engagement.

Program Details and Timeline


Boot Camp: January 6-February 14, 2020
A 6-week Boot Camp during which Fellows receive intensive expert instruction via two 4-hour sessions each week as well as online curriculum. Upon completion of Boot Camp, Fellows will have refined their business innovation plan and set three milestone goals to achieve during the Accelerator phase. Fellows receive a $5K stipend to support their time away from the organization and expenses related to the early development of the concept.


Milestone Accelerator: February 17-June 5, 2020
During the 16-week Accelerator, each Fellow meets regularly with their mentors, who provide expert guidance as well as facilitate connections with advisors throughout the SEG and United Way networks. Fellows also meet monthly with program staff, who provide assistance and help sustain forward momentum as Fellows work toward their milestones.


Pitch Event: November 2020
Five of the ten fellows are selected to pitch their final innovation plan, and the top three will receive a total of $90,000 in prize money (1st place, $50,000; 2nd place, $25,000; 3rd place, $15,000).


Social Innovation Fellowship

A three-year, developmental program that offers undergraduate students intensive skills training, hands-on experience in innovation alongside community partners, and access to a broad network of social innovators for mentorship.

Starting in September 2019, Social Enterprise Greenhouse and the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University are partnering on a new Social Innovation Fellowship for students.

The program is hosted at Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s Coworking Hub. SEG staff provides fellows with training in social innovation, access to coaching from the 200+ business and community leaders who participate in the SEG Volunteer Network, and opportunities to learn firsthand what it takes to launch and grow successful social ventures. The Fellowship also includes a one-year program option for students in their senior year who are seeking to launch or expand a social venture.

Fourteen students are participating in the 2019 Social Innovation Fellowship:

3 Year Fellowship (college sophomores)
  • Madison Bates of Boyne City, Michigan
  • Samuel Caplan of Ambler, Pennsylvania
  • Kimberly Collins of New Rochelle, New York
  • Priya Mittal of New York City, New York
  • Elvia Perez of Los Angeles, California
  • Francesca Raoelison of Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Olivia Tulkoff of New York City, New York
1 Year Fellowship (college seniors)
  • Edward R. Uong of Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Emma C. Butler of Portsmouth, Rhode Island
  • Devyn C. Collado-Nicol of Long Beach, California
  • Kaitlyn P. Lew of Needham, Massachusetts
  • Michael A. Mireles Jr. of Mission, Texas
  • Kaitlin Reed of Dover, Massachusetts
  • Zixi (Jessica) Zhu of Beijing, China


Grow your customer base with SupplyRI! SupplyRI seeks to increase the amount of goods and services that our state’s anchor institutions purchase from suppliers located in Rhode Island. 

Social Enterprise Greenhouse is partnering with Rhode Island Commerce to support the SupplyRI initiative. SEG provides connections for Rhode Island-based social ventures to join this list of business-to-business suppliers.

About Supplyri:

SupplyRI helps connect local suppliers to the needs of larger Rhode Island institutions, called Anchors, through its database, website, trainings, and events. The SupplyRI team not only connects local suppliers with buyers, but also guides local businesses to better understand the processes and needs of the Anchor institutions. They want to help connect your local business to the right people within Anchors such as CVS Health, RISD, or Lifespan in the hopes that they may become your next customer!

SupplyRI aims to:
  • Enable the SupplyRI Anchors (buyers) to locate sustainable suppliers
  • Respond to Request for Proposals (RFPs) and follow up about other Anchor requests from Rhode Island businesses
  • Guide local businesses to better understand the procurement processes and needs of Anchor institutions
  • Provide access to Rhode Island’s supplier training resources and capital access programs, such as the Commerce Corporation’s Small Business Assistance Program

SupplyRI is looking for businesses with a local footprint and a social/environmental vision. As a member of the SEG network, your venture would make a great addition to the supply chain of Anchor institutions in Rhode Island, helping them to further enhance their local/social impacts.

At present, anchor institutions working with SupplyRI include:

  • Amica Insurance
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Brown University
  • Care New England
  • Citizens Bank
  • CVS Health
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • General Dynamics Electric Boat
  • Gilbane
  • Infosys
  • Lifespan
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Roger Williams University

Learn more!

To learn how SEG and SupplyRI can help you connect with new customers for your product or service, contact Constance Ferber, Manager, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, at