What SEG Is Doing in Response to COVID-19

As a result of COVID-19, businesses have been disrupted overnight. In response, SEG is launching a slate of new programs and services that offer practical, constructive guidance in order to best support social enterprises and our community’s ability to adapt and succeed.

Adaptive Strategy & Innovation Support

We have launched a new group consulting service (similar to SEG’s traditional Huddle) that provides entrepreneurs and business owners with an opportunity to discuss their challenges and explore new ways of doing business during this time. Applicants will be matched to volunteers in our network who have a particular expertise in strategy and who fit the applicant’s needs. To apply, please complete this form.

› COVID-19 Response Virtual Incubator

SEG’s COVID-19 Response Incubator is a seven-week virtual incubator focused on addressing the various social/public health challenges that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Incubator will focus on disruptive innovation, including identifying needs, developing and assessing feasibility of solutions, and launching and testing pilots. This program seeks to offer social entrepreneurs the chance to transform innovative ideas into reality through a combination of educational sessions and peer support.

Our COVID-19 Response Incubator ran throughout June and July and graduated a cohort of 15 social ventures. Learn about them here. 

› Virtual Incubator

SEG’s new Virtual Incubator helps motivated entrepreneurs turn their ideas into action. This Incubator is for anyone who has an idea for launching a business or nonprofit that will help themselves, their family, and their community. This program is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop a strategy for supplementing their income and for people who have always wanted to explore the viability of starting their own business.

The program provides the same rich content as our traditional Incubator, including workshops on:

  • Running a Successful Business/Venture
  • Defining Your Value in the Marketplace
  • Business Planning
  • Logic Model
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Personal Finance
  • Startup Finance
  • Legal and Entity Formation

Incubator participants meet twice a week via Zoom for 5 weeks. After completion of the program, participants continue to build community, provide peer support, and share developments through annual reunions, SEG events, and self-organized meetups.

SEG’s first Virtual Incubator cohort of 2020 graduated in June. Go here to learn more and apply to our Fall 2020 Incubators!

› Resource Aggregation & Advice

We are compiling resources available to entrepreneurs and businesses and providing one-on-one advice from SEG staff on navigating government services (such as SBA Emergency Loans). We have also formed a Latino COVID Response Team in collaboration with the RI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to help Spanish-speaking business owners navigate SBA resources.

› COVID-19 Resources – Online Office Hours with SEG Staff

A team of SEG staff members is available to provide social entrepreneurs with advice about accessing financial resources and support and other services that can help them and their businesses during this time of crisis. We offer online office hours via Zoom every other week on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Participants can join a group conversation or have their questions answered in a breakout room. Staff members on the call include:

  • Jessica Vega, Pawtucket/Central Falls program director 
  • Juan Carlos Payero, Newport program director
  • Maria Jose Guevara, financial officer
  • Meg Wirth, Health & Wellness Initiative director
  • Stefanie Engelhardt, regional program manager
› Innovation as an Antidote

Our new online video series, Innovation as an Antidote: RI’s Impact Entrepreneurs Respond to COVID-19, organized in partnership with District Hall Providence and presented live on Wednesdays at 12:00 PM, features entrepreneurs who are innovating in response to the crisis. See videos of past speakers.  

› Stories of Hope / Historias de esperanza

Stories of Hope: Resiliency in Communities of Color is a video series presented by SEG and HarborOne Bank that interviews minority entrepreneurs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We showcase entrepreneurs who are being resourceful and creative and are thriving amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Stories of Hope: Resiliencia en comunidades de color es una serie de videos que entrevista a empresarios minoritarios en Rhode Island y Massachusetts. Mostramos emprendedores que son ingeniosos y creativos y prosperan en medio de la crisis pandémica de COVID-19. Traído a usted por Social Enterprise Greenhouse & HarborOne Bank.

› Social Impact Community Updates

We are sharing news and updates from social entrepreneurs who are responding quickly and developing innovative ways to deliver their products and services to help people get through the crisis.

› New Volunteer Opportunities

We are actively recruiting skills-based volunteers to assist with our new initiatives. Learn about our new volunteer opportunities.

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