Up to 100 unemployed and under-employed participants will receive entrepreneurship training and support
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined members of the Providence City Council, Economic Opportunity Director Brian Hull, Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) Director for Rhode Island, Maryellen O’Mahony, and Francine Lepizzera, Workforce Development Supervisor for Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston at the Providence netWORKri Job Center to announce the launch of the PVD Self-Employment Program. The program will provide up to 100 unemployed and under-employed Providence residents with the entrepreneurship training and support necessary to allow them to start their own businesses and be reemployed.
“Small businesses are a driver of economic growth and when they succeed our city succeeds,” said Mayor Elorza. “This is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to gain important skills and education to successfully launch and grow their business.”
The PVD Self-Employment Program will be administered by the Center for Women and Enterprise and will offer participants business plan development courses and foster relationships with business mentors to create new opportunities for economic growth in Providence. Made possible with $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Program will help participants gain the financial literacy, practical business skills, and access to capital required to start and grow small businesses.
“The Center for Women & Enterprise is honored to partner to with the City of Providence to provide training, mentors and resources to help unemployed and under-employed Providence residents increase their professional success, personal growth, and financial independence.” said Maryellen O’Mahony, Director, CWE Rhode Island. “The PVD Self-Employment program will not only provide participants with tools needed to start their own business but also help create economic activity resulting in new businesses, new jobs and increase wages in our communities.”
The program consists of two components with focuses on business planning and business mentorship to ensure success. The Business Planning program is an intensive and comprehensive 3-week course that walks participants through the creation of a bank-ready business plan. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday at the Providence netWORKri Center with required homework assignments which must be submitted by the end of each day. On the first two Fridays, participants will be required to carry out independent essential business research, and on the final Friday, participants officially graduate from the program.
Immediately after graduation, participants will start a 6-week Mentoring Program. Twice a week participants will attend mandatory meetings at the Center. The first meeting will be spent working with a mentor to create a work-plan to prepare for the launch of the business. Every week the participants will meet with their business mentor at the Center to review their progress on the work-plan and to receive specialized help and assistance. During their other weekly meeting at the Center, participants will attend workshops on various topics related to launching a business. Workshop topics will be selected to reflect the needs and requirements of each cohort of participants.
Providence residents interested in applying for the PVD Self-Employment Program can visit www.providenceri.gov/oeo/pvd-self-employment-program/ or contact the Mayor’s Center for City Services for more information by dialing 3-1-1.
The launch of the PVD Self-Employment Program follows efforts led by Mayor Elorza to expand economic opportunities for residents through robust workforce development programming and expanded business recourses.
Since the inception of the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the City has launched PVD HealthWorks, a workforce partnership geared to strengthen Providence’s healthcare and social assistance workforce by connecting participants to workforce training, resources and employment opportunities.
A RHODES to Employment Program managed by OpenDoors that provides pre-release work readiness services, career counseling, employment education, and case management to successfully reintegrate incarcerated individuals was launched in April 2017.
The City will be holding a community conversation detailing efforts focused on encouraging and supporting small business growth on Tuesday, January 23, at the Joseph A Doorley Jr. Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, beginning at 6:00pm. Attendees will learn about prerequisites for small loans through the Providence Business Loan Fund (PBLF), how to navigate the streamlined and digitized application process and other support the City provides.