Providence, R.I. (October 5, 2020) — Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) announced today that it has provided a $25,000 loan to ASTRO (Arts, Sports, and Technology Resource Organization), a learning center for youth and adults based in Pawtucket, R.I. The mission of ASTRO is to champion equity among diverse populations by innovating health-promoting programs that improve the way people live, learn, work, and play.
The SEG Loan Fund offers loans to support the growth of social enterprises based in Rhode Island, with preference given to applicants that have graduated from SEG’s Accelerator program. ASTRO, founded in 2014, is a graduate of SEG’s 2019 Health & Wellness Accelerator. The funds will be used to expand ASTRO’s business operations to support new adult day care services.
“We’re thrilled to receive a loan from the SEG Loan Fund,” said Justin Pasquazzi, cofounder, president, and executive director of ASTRO. “We are extending our organizational capacity and developing new educational and wellness services for adults. The loan will help us make investments that will pay off both for ASTRO and for our community as well.”
“We are excited to provide working capital that ASTRO can use to increase its capacity and offer much needed services to Rhode Islanders,” said Matt Ramirez, chief operating officer for SEG. “Our Loan Fund exists to help social ventures build on their operations, especially in ways that hold potential for new job creation and increased social impact. We congratulate ASTRO for submitting a successful proposal and are eager to continue offering loans to eligible ventures.”
To qualify for a loan from the SEG Loan Fund, businesses must be a social enterprise with existing revenue of $25,000 or more, must be based in Rhode Island, and must be planning to create jobs in Rhode Island. Applications are evaluated based on organizational mission, management team, value proposition, financial projections, operating strengths, and market conditions. Loans between $5,000 and $25,000 are awarded for up to three years and can be used for operating costs, working capital, new equipment, website or app development, marketing campaigns, and the like.
Business owners who are interested in learning about the SEG Loan Fund are encouraged to find more information at segreenhouse.org/social-enterprise-loan-fund. Free expert technical assistance from SEG is available to potential borrowers who need help assembling their loan application package and throughout the duration of the loan.
The SEG Loan Fund is led by financial-sector leaders who volunteer their time to help prepare and vet applications and who provide ongoing business support to portfolio ventures. Committee members include Jim Seymour, Pontefract Global Strategies (committee chair); Peter Dorsey, The Business Development Company; Dwayne Keyes, Compass Working Capital; MaryKay Koreivo, Bank of America; Julia McDowell, CVS Health; and Robert Procaccianti, UBS Wealth Management.
The SEG Loan Fund is supported by CommerceRI and Everhope Foundation. Past loan recipients include Asthenis, Capital Good Fund, The Compost Plant, Feast & Fettle, Hands in Harmony, Maternova, Metryx, Mighty Well, Packaging 2.0, and Solar Sister.
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. We also foster an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy. SEG operates statewide in Rhode Island from three programming sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Our network of 600+ enterprises and 250+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.