Social Enterprise Greenhouse Accelerator Winner of SBA’s National Growth Accelerator Competition

For Immediate Release

Social Enterprise Greenhouse Accelerator Winner of SBA’s National Growth Accelerator Competition

The Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) Accelerator was one of 80 winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Four hundred applications were judged by 40+ experts with backgrounds in entrepreneurship, investment, startups, economic development, capital formation and academia from both the public and private sector. SEG will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA and will report metrics such as jobs created, funds raised, startups launched, and corporate sponsors obtained.

The SEG Accelerator, designed and delivered in partnership with Brown University’s Social Innovation Initiative, is a 12-week blended learning immersion program that provides motivated, coachable, New England-based social entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills, and networks they need to accelerate the growth of their ventures. Since 2011, the SEG Accelerator has graduated 58 ventures; 43 of these are operational and 24 are scaling. In aggregate, these ventures have created over 300 jobs and have improved the lives of more than 300,000 individuals. Learn more about the SEG Accelerator here.

Many are excited about the opportunities that the SBA prize will bring to the community.

“I am pleased Social Enterprise Greenhouse is being recognized by the SBA for their efforts to spark, support, and sustain successful social enterprises. When I visited SEG last fall, I saw firsthand the work they are doing to empower local, social entrepreneurs and I hope this award will help them expand their reach to an even higher level,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped include federal funding for the SBA to make these competitive awards available.

“Accelerators make it easier for smart, enterprising people to set up shop in Rhode Island, work with our businesses and social entrepreneurs, and launch their own ventures. That’s a real benefit to our state,” said Sheldon Whitehouse, who wrote a letter in support of SEG’s application for funding. “Congratulations to Social Enterprise Greenhouse on winning this competition, and thanks for helping make Rhode Island a more appealing place for entrepreneurs.”

“We are honored to be recognized by the SBA,” said Accelerator Director Emily Wanderer. “The cash support will enable us to more actively recruit entrepreneurs to our program and double the numbers of entrepreneurs and ventures that we serve in 2016.”

“We are happy to bring our expertise and online learning resources to the SEG Accelerator,” said Brown University’s Social Innovation Director Alan Harlam. “We believe that through building the Accelerator partnership, and supporting the Social Enterprise Greenhouse Hub and SEEED Summit, Brown is helping to create jobs and opportunities for all, in Rhode Island and beyond.”

About Social Enterprise Greenhouse

SEG is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to support the growth of social enterprises in and around Rhode Island. SEG defines social enterprises as businesses that do well and do good – they have a mission to create positive social change as well as a goal to become a financially sustainable business. Social enterprises operate in many different industries and with a wide array of missions, but all share the need to combine innovative, mission-oriented leadership with well-honed commercial skills. The social enterprises that SEG serves create positive social impacts in many ways, including protecting or improving the environment, enhancing health and wellness, providing job training and workforce development services to people with barriers to employment, providing youth educational and social interventions, and revitalizing blighted neighborhoods.


Kelly Ramirez

(401) 272-2558 ext. 6351