RIBBA’s LEAP Initiative Receives $15,000 Grant Award from BayCoast Bank

Funds will support LEAP Initiative which trains and supports young adults through their academic and early careers. 

Providence, RI – July 15, 2021 –  The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA), a 10-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the opportunities and vitality of Black-owned businesses and professionals in RI, is pleased to announce a charitable contribution in the amount of $15,000 from BayCoast Bank. This funding will be used to train and support young adults through their academic and early careers by providing well-informed programs and services that strengthen their skills and support the complex challenges they face.  

“RIBBA’s innovative LEAP initiative provides a comprehensive suite of services to truly enable young adults reach their potential and succeed.  We are honored to partner with them and support this important work,” explained Nicholas M. Christ, President and CEO of BayCoast Bank.  

RIBBA and their charitable arm, the Institute of Economic Empowerment & Development (IEED), have worked over the last 10 years to create a more equitable business environment in Rhode Island through business and career development programs, as well as through their advocacy & policy work.  This greater investment in RIBBA comes on the heels of a national reckoning that structural racism exists and holds back many Black and brown communities from achieving access to opportunity and economic prosperity. 

There isn’t one type of program or service out there that can address all the barriers that systemically exist. The LEAP Initiative provides multi-layered programs and services, such as: mentorship, financial literacy, workshops, trainings, scholarships, and more.  

“We thank BayCoast Bank for this generous funding and for supporting our work of advancing racial and economic justice. Though institutions are working much more aggressively to create a more inclusive environment, there are barriers within the systems that are being navigated by underrepresented individuals daily. This commitment from BayCoast Bank signifies a confidence in RIBBA’s historic and groundbreaking work over the last 10 years and will help support young adults who are navigating these barriers,” said Amanda Roman – Director of Program Development & Operations at RIBBA.  

The LEAP Initiative completed its first program year in July 2021 and will begin offering programs and services again in September 2021. To learn more about the mentor program and workshops being provided, go to www.ri-bba.org  or contact amanda@ri-bba.org. 


The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development.

The Institute for Economic Empowerment & Development (IEED) is the charitable arm of the Rhode Island Black Business Association. IEED provides education and access opportunities to individuals throughout their academic and career journeys. 

About BayCoast Bank: BayCoast Bank is mutually owned, serving the needs of consumers, businesses, non-profits and municipalities through 23 branches and three loan offices throughout southeastern MA and RI. Additional services are offered through the Bank’s affiliates:  BayCoast Financial Services, Plimoth Investment Advisors, Partners Insurance Group, LLC, BayCoast Mortgage Company, LLC, and Priority Funding LLC. Nicholas M. Christ is the Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Visit baycoast.bank or call 508-678-7641 or 888-806-2872.