social enterprise Archives


Social Enterprise Greenhouse Celebrates Our 2019 Impact Accelerator Cohort!

11 social ventures mark their graduation from our annual Impact Accelerator by pitching their business to an audience It was 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, and the Hub at Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Providence was packed. Great socializing and tasty food and drink were a big draw, but the real attraction was still to[…..]

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5 Things I Learned from How to Tell Your Brand story in the Digital Age with Pete Lucas

SEG hosted Pete Lucas, vice president of business development at JH Communications, in a class about telling our brand story. We talked about different types of social media, what goes into decision-making and avoiding some common pitfalls. Here are 5 things I learned: Hey, what IS my brand story? Perhaps we can’t create and tell[…..]

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5 Things I Learned from Community Table with Garden Time

5 Things I Learned from Community Table with Garden Time Garden Time is a non-profit organization based in Rhode Island which provides hands-on vocational training to incarcerated persons. Their mission is “to create garden programs for incarcerated men and women at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution and elsewhere. Through the processes of gardening, the[…..]

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Impact Accelerator Graduation 2017!

Eight mission-driven ventures have made it through another great Impact Accelerator! They’ve shown up every week for workshops and mentorship sessions, made breakthroughs and tough decisions and supported each other through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. And, they’ve done their homework. They each got up in front of the crowd to give their graduation[…..]

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5 Things I Learned from the Community Table: Improving Health Outcomes with Innovative Models

This week’s  Community Table event highlighted a unique partnership happening in Brockton, Massachusetts. Jason Barbosa is a co-owner of family food business Vicente’s Tropical Supermarket and Mary Lynch is a dietician at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (BNHC). They have partnered to create a unique model which combines healthcare and food access. Vicente’s and BNHC co-located[…..]

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Meet Finnest

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Richard McDonald and Clemens Grave met at Brown. They had something in common: Both had an entrepreneurial spirit and were pursuing a graduate program called Innovation  Management and Entrepreneurship. They had both studied engineering, mechanical and industrial, respectively. But that’s where the similarities ended. Richard grew up in  Nevada and Clemens came from Austria, and they noticed several differences in their cultural backgrounds.

One that stood out was their experiences with financial literacy-the differences between European and American banking systems and attitudes was the topic of ongoing conversation between them. They spent an entire summer together in Europe exploring these differences and ideating business ideas. Problem identified! But how best to solve it?

From left, co-founders of Finnest Clemens Grave and Richard McDonald. Finnest, is a mobile-based financial literacy startup for children and teens. PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Enter Finnest. Richard and Clemens are now building a platform to help youth ages 10 to 18 learn about money management–saving, spending and investing. They want to help instill confidence around financial literacy for parents and kids alike, providing a way to start conversations about money and a real-life teaching tool to back these conversations up.

They joined the SEG Impact Accelerator in order to take this business idea to the next level, and have just released a website and a pilot program to test this new tool. Both are busy interviewing parents and kids about this new product, exploring their attitudes about money, technology and how they intersect in modern family life. “We just want to help solve a problem for families,” says Richard.

The first debit cards are launching right now, and the data-gathering is increasing by the moment. As Finnest moves through the accelerator, they are using the SEG network to help build their prototype and scale their business.  And as they navigate the wide world of financial technology, they hold onto their mission of making financial literacy available across backgrounds, hoping to help change the world one savings account at a time.

Find out more about Finnest here.


Traci Picard
Venture Development Assistant

Traci Picard is a VISTA serving as Venture Development assistant here at SEG. She comes from the world of alternative health, running a small herbal business and teaching classes like Critical Thinking for Herbalists and Asking Better Questions. Traci is also a writer pursuing a Journalism degree, a mother of 3 and a passionate fan of books and the Public Library. Born in Providence, she has lived all over but continues to return home.



Stories from the SEG Hub: Rabbi Elan Babchuck

November 23, 2016 By: Traci Picard What is it about a co-working space that pulls us in? That keeps us coming back? It’s the strong coffee, sure. The sunny space, the wi-fi and the printer. But more than anything else, it’s the people, and their stories. The HUB is a co-working space, but it’s also[…..]

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Stories From the Hub: PetsEmpower

November 15, 2016 By: Traci Picard Imagine yourself in crisis. You’ve had an experience which leaves you feeling unsafe at home. You need to evacuate. You’ve been called into active duty for the military. For one or many reasons, you need to go somewhere else. What will you do with your pet? Jordan Ross is[…..]

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Chef Kaitlyn Roberts of Easy Entertaining: Making a difference in Rhode Island with local food

By Jinjuta Teeraratananukulchai, MBA Candidate at the University of Rhode Island July 23, 2016 If you have ever attended a Social Enterprise Greenhouse event and found yourself eating delicious food, it was probably provided by Easy Entertaining, and for good reason. Easy Entertaining was founded by Chef Kaitlyn Roberts (pictured above), who has been delighting[…..]

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