Through Brown’s Social Innovation Initiative, University students are learning how to use the tools and techniques of entrepreneurship to address some of society’s most pressing problems – both in Rhode Island and beyond. The program also offers internships with social ventures in Rhode Island and seed money to help students develop new social ventures.
Students participating in this program have launched several social enterprises in Providence and elsewhere in Rhode Island. For example:
- The Capital Good Fund, founded in 2009, provides microloans and financial education to low-income people in Rhode Island and elsewhere. Since its founding, they have provided financial coaching to 100 Rhode Island residents and supplied more than $230,000 in loans, in addition to paving the way to citizenship for two dozen Rhode Islanders and improving the credit scores of 80 residents.
- The Generation Citizenship Project, founded in 2009, promotes civic engagement among students in public high schools in the Providence area by focusing on issues of particular concern to their communities. Now in 14 Providence schools, the program has 82 Democracy Coaches working with 1,375 students this year.
- The Broad Street Synagogue Project, founded in 2011, has negotiated an agreement to purchase a historic former synagogue in South Providence, and is planning to renovate it as a community and cultural center.