NEWPORT, R.I. – Rhode Island’s chapter of Social Venture Partners, an organization that generates engaged philanthropy – and new job opportunities – in the emerging field of social enterprise, will celebrate its launch in Newport with a public reception on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Salve Regina University’s Ochre Court, 100 Ochre Point Ave.
The networking event will bring together representatives from several Newport County social agencies, community leaders and innovators throughout the state to connect with peers and interested members of the public to share ideas on building more effective social enterprises.
Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, will welcome participants. Also speaking will be Ellen Donahue-Dalton, a member of the SVP-RI board and Myra Edelstein, associate professor of business at Salve Regina.
Edelstein said she is encouraging students at Salve Regina to attend as it may introduce them to new ways to help in the community or even get them started on a new career path.
“This is an important opportunity for our students to connect to local agencies and enterprises/organizations to bring worthwhile services to members of the community-at-large,” Edelstein said. “Our students will be able to use their skills to inform and help agencies develop critical pieces to make them more effective at what they do.”
For example, Edelstein said students may be able to help develop a marketing plan, a business plan or an operations plan by which an agency may gain additional funding to help members of the community.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our students to be able to start at the ground level to develop emerging enterprises that will create jobs for people in the community.”
Representatives from several Newport County ventures, including Flying Kites, Farm Fresh RI, International Yacht Restoration School, Seamans Church Institute and Church Community Housing will be in attendance.
The Rhode Island chapter of Social Venture Partners, through its SERI program (Social Enterprise Rhode Island) has built an engaged community of more than 700 social enterprise stakeholders and has aggregated the state’s 100-plus social ventures, which are creating hundreds of training and employment opportunities, many for individuals with significant barriers to employment.
“We conduct quantitative and qualitative research to better understand and respond to the needs of the sector, and develop economic and social outcomes impact findings,” said Kelly Ramirez, SERI director.
The organization also provides low interest flexible term grants and loans to start-up and mezzanine ventures.
Newport County partners already include the Maher Center, Jamestown Teen Center, Mosaico CDC, Martin Luther King Center, Boys and Girls Club of Newport, The Met School, International Yacht Restoration School, Seamans Church Institute, East Bay Community Action, Newport Preservation Society, Jane Pickens Theatre, Church Community Housing, Potter League, Chid & Family of Newport, Newport County Community Mental Health Center, Flying Kites, Big Sisters of RI, Newport Restoration Foundation, Newport Historical Society and the International Tennis Hall of Fame.