The RI Black Business Association is Now Accepting Scholarship Applications for 2022 Scholarship

Scholarship applications for students entering college or university will be accepted until May 27, 2022

Providence, RI – Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – The Rhode Island Black Business Association, and its charitable arm that focuses on empowerment and training related activities – the Institute of Economic Empowerment & Development (IEED), are now accepting applications for the 2022 Scholarship. Scholarship award amounts vary from $500-$1000 for each individual student. To date, RIBBA has given out over $45,000 in scholarships to Black students entering college or university.

“We’re extremely excited to be accepting applications for this year’s Scholarship Program. There are a wide number of systemic barriers and challenges that Black and Afro-Latinx young adults face, and we hope this scholarship opportunity helps each recipient reach their full academic and career potential, said Amanda Roman – Director of Program Development & Operations at RIBBA. “Financial investments are an essential part of creating a more equitable education system and we are proud to be providing this and other opportunities to students.

The Scholarship Program is just one component of the LEAP Initiative, launched in 2020 by RIBBA’s charitable arm – IEED. Other activities and opportunities within the initiative include, a mentor program, executive coaching, financial literacy training, and skills development. The initiative’s wrap around programs and services were developed with RIBBA’s Community Advisory Board of Young Adults and will support scholarship recipients on their academic and career journey.

To be considered for the 2022 Scholarship, applicants must identify as Black or Afro-Latinx, be a resident of Rhode Island, a high school senior in the Fall of 2022, and will begin their Freshman year at an accredited college or university in the Fall of 2023. Scholarship applications are reviewed by a Scholarship Committee and awardee announcements will be made in August of 2022. Applications must be completed and received by May 27, 2022 at 4:00 PM.

For more information or to view or complete the, go to: In addition, individuals who are interested in donating to RIBBA’s Scholarship Fund, can do so by clicking here.

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 and Development is the 501 (c) (3) charitable arm of RIBBA and provides mentorship/career/ business readiness training and financial support for RIBBA’s initiatives and programs by the way of grants and fundraisers. Learn More, call 401-383-1179 or e-Mail:


Media Contact:
Amanda Roman
Director of Program Development & Operations

How to: Prepare for Upcoming COVID-19 Business Relief Grants


Previous COVID-19 relief funds drastically missed RI’s own Black and minority businesses. We know that new business relief funds are on their way, and want to help you prepare as best as possible. Here are some tips on how you can prepare:


How to look up your D-U-N-S Number if you can’t find?

  1. Click Here: D&B D-U-N-S Number Lookup (
  2. Select “My company” in the Search for Line
  3. Click on Business Name or Business Phone
    1. Try them both if one does not work
  4. Your business should pop up if you already have a D-U-N-S Number
  5. Choose to modify Business Information or have your D-U-N-S Number emailed.
  6. Your Business Information on Duns & Bradstreet should match your current address and phone number for your business.


How to sign up for a D-U-N-S Number

  1. Click Here: Get a D-U-N-S Number – Establish Your Business – D&B (
  2. Pick your reason: Choose US Government Contractor or Grantee
  3. Click Continue
  4. Select Your Country: United States of America
  5. Click Continue
  6. Enter your Business information
  7. Type in the correct captcha and click submit.
  8. Locate your business on the list
    1. Look for your exact name and address
    2. Click request or modify information to update
  9. Request the number or make the necessary changes.
  10. A Duns and Bradstreet Agent will be in contact in a couple days to verify your identity ad the business and provide an update.


*Please Note: You can use the contact information on the bottom of the links to get assistance from a Duns & Bradstreet Agent. The screenshot below shows the available options.  




How to look Up your NAICS Code:

Click Here: NAICS & SIC Identification Tools | NAICS Association

The NAICS code is a requirement on your Business Tax Return even if you file as Self-Employed on a Schedule C. NAICS is the North American Industry Industry Classification System. This code will identify the industry your business operates in. Using the correct industry code on your tax return will make it easier to apply for industry specific programs. Registration with the Secretary of State also suggests to identify all the Industries your Business operates in using the NAICS code.*Please Note: A Business can use multiple NAICS codes



How to register your business with to obtain a unique entity ID 

Step 1: Create an account at: Welcome – this will provide you the log in credentials to submit documents and log into your account in the future. 

Step 2: Gather Documents: Representations and certifications questionnaire 

  • Points of contact (mandatory and optional points of contact) 
  • Gathering documents can be different for each business. It depends on the complexity of your interest in obtaining a ID. Some documents will require the services of a notary. *This process could take 2 to 3 days.*

Step 3: Submit your documents via the portal with your log in credentials.



Need more assistance, contact RIBBA to meet with a Business Development Specialist:

LEAP Mentor Program – 3rd Cohort Launched!

On December 2nd, RIBBA welcomed 15 new mentees into the newly expanded LEAP Mentor Program. These 15 young adults will work with mentors over the next 5 months to refine their goals and navigate barriers to achieving them.
In addition, the newly expanded program will provide not just mentorship, but also help each participant identify and utilize their strengths, provide education on financial literacy and work readiness, as well 1:1 sessions with career and financial coaches.
Since the program’s start, we’ve been able to support over 40 mentees. We’re grateful to our sponsor Bay Coast and funding partner Real Jobs Rhode Island for making this expanded program a reality.
For more information on upcoming cohorts, please contact Amanda Roman | Director of Program Development & Operations |

Emerging Leader Highlight: Edinalia Lopes

Edinalia Lopes is a Financial Analyst at IGT and a participant in the inaugural Emerging Leaders Development Program provided by RIBBA. 

1. What has being a part of the Emerging Leaders Program meant to you?

Being part of the Leadership program means many different things for me.  It gives me a chance to network with other professionals from RI, from different industries/cultures.  Though I am not currently in a leadership position, this program caught my eye because I would like to grow in my career and this program is a way for me to learn more about what I personally need to get there. I wish this type of program was part of college/grad school curriculum because so many of the things we are learning can help everyone not only in their careers but also understand what leadership qualities they have and what they need to work on to strengthen.  The program has given me a chance to step back from the day to day things I do for my career and evaluate myself; learn more about myself and learn about what qualities I have to become a great leader.

2. What’s the most significant think you’ve learned so far?

The program is teaching me more on how to be a genuine/unique leader and I feel like I couldn’t learn that elsewhere.  Before this I felt like I had to fit a mold and follow what past leaders have done to be successful but now I am starting to understand how my unique abilities and characteristics can help me get to where I want to go.   I think that is the most significant thing I have learned; that I can become a leader using my own strengths and not have to change everything about myself to be the type of a leader that others might expect me to be.

3. How has understanding your strengths changed the way you see yourself?

First of all,  there were some things about myself that I didn’t know were strengths for great leaders! For example, when we took the assessment test and one of my qualities came out to be Empathy.  I now realize how big of a strength empathy is for a leader, whereas before I thought of it as more of a weakness.  I thought it would be seen as “caring too much” or “feeling too much”;  now I see that it is one of the best qualities, especially now that I understand more about emotional intelligence and using it to lead. We are only half way through the program and I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself so far.

 I think this program would be beneficial for anyone, In any area of work or career levels.  Learning about our strengths, how to use our unique abilities, emotional intelligence and understanding the difference between managing and leading, is greatly needed!  It can be an asset to someone just coming out of college or someone who’s been in their career for years; you can learn new things about yourself at any stage of life.  Someone starting their careers can use this program to get a leg up, learn and hone on their strengths; and someone further in their career can learn new ways to lead and strengthen some of the characteristics they might not have given importance to, in the past. The world is changing and we can ‘t assume that the old ways of leading will keep working, so I would highly recommend this program to everyone!


The Emerging Leaders Development Program is free for participants through funding received by the RI Department of Labor and Training and is delivered by RIBBA in partnership with the University of RI Office of Strategic Initiatives.

Passion on Purpose: A Perspective on the Kickoff to the RIBBA Emerging Leaders Development Program

Achiever. Responsibility. Relator. Futuristic. Learner. 

These are not randomly selected descriptors—there is purpose, power, and possibility in each of them. There is also purpose, power, and possibility in each of the people that represent these strengths. These 5 descriptors are the most highly represented strengths according to the Gallup Clifton Strengths assessment for the inaugural RIBBA Emerging Leaders Development Program cohort.  Thanks to the team at Leadership Rhode Island, we were able to learn just what each of our top strengths mean for us specifically, how we can use them effectively, and how they show up in the spaces and circumstances we find ourselves in. Additionally, thanks to Anne Lipsitz, we were able to consider and articulate how understanding, embracing, and aligning our strengths can help us build a strong personal brand as well as facilitate organizational and overall success. It was a fantastic and inspirational day, and we are humbled and excited to share some initial perspectives on the experience of the start of the program. 

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 25 dynamic, talented, and passionate people came together to launch a journey with different expressions of a common goal: to continue to develop their professional and personal trajectories and increase and enhance opportunities for success. This looks different and shows up in varying ways for each of these unique people, but one thing we can all agree on is that this program will be lifechanging and undoubtedly impactful—it already has been.  

To begin with, none of us are part of this incredible effort by chance. Lisa Ranglin, the RIBBA team, and countless other collaborators have been on a journey for some time to make this opportunity a reality, and just at the right time, it came to fruition. It is no secret and nothing new that leaders of color tend to have fewer opportunities for promotion, fewer chances for leadership roles, fewer opportunities for board representation, fewer pay increases, and the list goes on, however, the story does not end there. What is remarkable about the Emerging Leaders Development Program is that it provides a unique opportunity for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) professionals to experience an intentional and customized program that equally builds on their experiences and addresses the areas individually that they need assistance with. All of this is in a valiant and paramount effort to challenge the narrative that there are not enough leaders of color to succeed in critical, elevated, and powerful roles. As was discussed on Day 1, the members of this cohort came to be leaders, but the reality is that we are already leaders, and in some cases, without us realizing it—we just need appropriate, affirming, and inclusive space to amplify and leverage our talents. In other words, we have the skills to succeed and simply need to maximize them.  

Each of the 25 participants come from different vantage points and experiences, varying companies, work and educational backgrounds, with varying skills, talents and interests. Despite our differences, we are all committed to maximizing our individual and collective experiences and in turn, shifting the tide of leadership in Rhode Island and beyond, and increasing the chances of success for ourselves, our families, and our communities forever. This is excellence personified and we hope to help make this experience possible for future leaders to come.  

By Stephanie Mireku and Tyler Joseph, Emerging Leaders Development Program Participants