RI Black Business Association Now Accepting Applications for Emerging Leaders Development Program for Diverse Leaders

Leadership program with proven success rate is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 program; deadline August 16, 2022

Providence, RI – Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA), an 11-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses and professionals in RI, is now accepting applications for its 2022-2023 Emerging Leaders Development Program.

The Emerging Leaders Development Program prepares high-performing Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous and multi-racial professionals for advancement into senior leadership and executive roles while raising their visibility as a force within their organization and community. This 7-month leadership program is designed to provide participants with the additional knowledge, skills and tools that they will need to take their career to the next level. The program includes in-residence training, assessments to aid in advancement, executive and emotional intelligence coaching, mentorship, volunteering, civic engagement, networking opportunities, and more.

“Far too often talented professionals of color have ceilings placed on their growth potential in corporate environments. We are often told to ‘be patient’ or ‘wait your turn’ as we’re passed on for opportunities that we are more than qualified to flourish in. RIBBA and the Emerging Leaders Program aims to not only break through those ceilings, we aim to completely shatter them,” said Izzy Rodriguez – Assistant Director, Digital Marketing and Emerging Leaders Alumni.

The inaugural cohort took place from October 2021 through March 2022 – with all 25 participants graduating, receiving credentials, and 70% experiencing job growth. The development of this program took place over the course of two years and was accomplished through state-wide surveys, interviews, leadership program assessments, and data on the state of diversity in business.

“As a Black woman who has worked in corporate America for over two decades, I know firsthand the challenge of being the only person of color in the room and the lack of opportunity for visible projects and career advancement,” said Lisa Ranglin – Founder and CEO of RIBBA. “The Emerging Leaders Development Program is a model for what intentional leadership advancement should look like. This program is on track to change the landscape of leadership in Rhode Island by building a steady, reliable pipeline of talented and diverse leaders who are ready to close the leadership gap.” 

“I feel that RIBBA and the Emerging Leaders Program especially has really empowered me as a leader of color,” said Marjorie Dellile – Emerging Leaders Alumni and Senior Project & Program Manager at the RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “I’m confident that the way that you walk in won’t be the way that you leave.”

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 Rhode Island Office of Strategic Initiatives. Information on dates, timeline, and the application are now available on RIBBA’s website. For more information, questions, or to schedule an info session at your organization, please contact Amanda Roman, Director of Program Development & Operations, at amanda@ri-bba.org or call 401-383-1179.

 

 

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 and professionals in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development.

RI Black Business Association Business Announces Business Pitch Competition for Young Adults

RI Black Business Association Business Announces Business Pitch Competition for Young Adults
Young entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the chance to win up to $3,000  

Providence, RI – March 7, 2022 – The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) today announced a Young Adult Business Pitch Competition for young minority entrepreneurs, scheduled to take place April 30, 2022, 10 am to 1 pm at Biz Bodega, Manton Ave Business Support Center, at 222 Manton Ave in Providence, RI. All entrepreneurs invited to the final competition will receive training on preparing and presenting a business pitch to ensure each competitor has the skills and information to be as successful as possible.  

The competition is open to individuals who live in Rhode Island, are Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, and are aged 18-30.  Winners can win a variety of prizes, ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 grants in addition to other business growth services from RIBBA. 

Lisa Ranglin, RIBBA president stated, “Access to capital for this underserved population is very limited. We are offering RIBBA’s unique approach of combining access to capital with expert technical services to help them grow their businesses.  Business formation is an effective way to decrease unemployment. In spite of reports of record low unemployment among minorities, October 2018 BLS household data showed black 18 year old youth at close to 20% unemployment with Latino youth at nearly 17% – about 30% higher than among white 18 year old youth. Minority youth up to age 30 are twice as likely as white youth to be unemployed.”  

The closing date for submitting an application for the Young Adult Business Pitch Competition is Friday, April 8, 2022 at 4 pm. Young entrepreneurs who are interested in applying can call 401-389-1179 or go to www.ri-bba.org/bizpitch to apply.   

 

 

– END – 

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: www.ri-bba.org/scholarship. 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: Info@ri-bba.org

#

Media Contact:
Amanda Roman
Director of Program Development & Operations
amanda@ri-bba.org
203-592-5551

WJAR 10: Report shows Rhode Island has failed Black and minority owned businesses

Rhode Island’s Black Business Association issued a failing grade to the state and called for elected leaders to take urgent action to fix a broken system that minimally awards contracts to Black and minority owned businesses.

Read full article online

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. 

 

###

RIBBA – Gala Event Committee Member

RIBBA is currently looking for community and business members to take part in organizing RIBBA’s 10 year celebration Gala! To learn more about this opportunity, please contact: getinvolved@ri-bba.org.

 

 

Rhode Island Black Business Association Receives $50,000 Donation from Partnership for Rhode Island

Funds celebrate RIBBA’s 10 year anniversary and mark a greater investment in supporting organizations that promote racial equity

Providence, RI March 31, 2021.  The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA), a 10 year-old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned businesses in RI, is pleased to announce a charitable contribution in the amount of $50,000 from Partnership for Rhode Island. This commitment follows Partnership for Rhode Island’s commitment to increasing racial equity and opportunity in the state and will be used to increase RIBBA’s overall program and service delivery capacity.

RIBBA has worked over the last 10 years to create a more equitable business environment in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development. COVID-19 eliminated 41% of Black-owned businesses nationwide (Federal Reserve Bank of New York; August 2020). This loss has demonstrated an urgent need for investment in Black businesses.

The Partnership for RI funding follows a $50,000 donation from the Rhode Island Foundation, a member of the Partnership for RI, in December of 2020. 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.

“This generous donation from Partnership for Rhode Island signifies a confidence in RIBBA’s historic and groundbreaking work over the last 10 years,” said Lisa Ranglin – Executive Director of RIBBA. “COVID-19 has been completely devastating for Black and brown communities and the time to act is now. This investment provides us with the ability to grow and have greater impact in the communities we serve through programs and services that scale businesses, create jobs, advance careers, and improve over-all economic health.  We thank the Partnership for Rhode Island for their support!”

“We are excited by the growth and mission of RIBBA and hope that our support, and their continued impact statewide, will encourage others to recommit to a more equitable and sustainable business environment in Rhode Island,” said Tom Giordano – Executive Director of The Partnership for Rhode Island.

To learn more about RIBBA’s programs, services, or to contribute, go to www.ri-bba.org or contact amanda@ri-bba.org.

 

About RIBBA The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing 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.

Our vision is to create a more equitable and sustainable business environment in Rhode Island. Our purpose is to leverage the region’s core assets to find solutions in the areas that matter most to the business and community: quality jobs, quality growth, and quality of life for all.

About Partnership for Rhode Island

The Partnership for Rhode Island is a non-profit, 501c4 organization focused on making Rhode Island a better place to live, work, learn and do business. Led by Tom Giordano, the Partnership has, the four years since its founding, has investment millions in public-private partnerships, hired tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders and has scaled programs in K-12, workforce development, energy infrastructure and business attraction. Founded at the urging of former Governor Raimondo, this active group has tackled some of the largest issues facing our state such as the turnaround of Providence Public School District, Covid-19 related unemployment to clean energy goals.

Business Highlight: Papi’s Coquito

Papi’s Coquito started as a hobby bringing coquito, a coconut liquor beverage that originated in Puerto Rico, to the homes of friends of families. Victor Regino, one of the founders, wanted to find a way to keep his grandmother’s recipe alive, and began making this special drink for his friends. It became so in-demand that he eventually realized he had to find a way to monetize it. That’s where Luis Olmo, an accountant and old friend of Victor’s came in to help him in that effort. 

Victor and Luis worked together to lay out the plan for getting the business off the ground and were well aware that in order to get things going, they needed funds. Starting a liquor business is no small feat and would require significant financial investment. Historically, it hasn’t been easy for Black and Latino businesses to get access to capital, so they decided to try something unconventional and enrolled in RIBBA’s Business Plan Competition. Papi’s Coquito was one of three winners and was awarded a $3,000 micro-loan. With that funding, they were able create an LLC, purchase merchandise, and develop and distribute samples to new marketplaces outside of the Latino community where coquito originated.  

As they navigated getting their business license, they realized they’d need an even larger loan to apply for that license and further launch the business. The $3,000 loan helped Victor and Luis build credit as they applied for a significantly larger loan and were eventually approved.  

Papi’s Coquito will be launching out of Pawtucket as a wholesaler liquor beverage and will supply their coquito to liquor businesses throughout the state. They have an upcoming state hearing that is one of the final pieces to their official release this Spring. To stay up to date on the product and it’s launch, check out their website, Instagram, or Facebook 

 

  

International Women’s Day: Cynthia Scott

 

As Women’s History Month approached, the team at RIBBA didn’t have to deliberate much about who to honor and spotlight this year. Cynthia Scott has been a volunteer and Board Member with RIBBA for many years. She’s supported the organization in a variety of capacities, focusing intensely on ways to support and grow Black businesses.  

This spotlight isn’t to expand upon her work with RIBBA, though it’s deep and full of stories and accomplishments, but to shed light on her journey and commitment to fighting for equality and justice over the years.  

Throughout Cynthia’s adult life, she has been a fierce advocate for issues that affect workers and marginalized individuals and families. During her early years in Boston as a newly graduated artist in the early 1960’s, she quickly understood that the advertising and design job opportunities that were available to White Men, would not be extended to her. As she searched for a way to fight this oppressive system, she joined Boston Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an organization that played a pivotal role in the civil rights struggle in Boston and elsewhere. While working with CORE, she protested widespread worker discrimination, served as chair of the housing committee, organized rent strikes, and continued to challenge discrimination and corruption.  

Cynthia went on to attend the Florence Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where she earned a Master’s degree while completing all coursework toward a PHD outside of the dissertation. Based on research for her dissertation, The Status of Black Working Women, Cynthia developed an upward mobility program housed at the Roxbury unit of the Boston YWCA. Under a contract with what was then the First National Bank of Boston, the program focused on preparing black women working at the Bank in entry level jobs for promotional opportunities within the Bank.  Also, while studying at Heller School, Cynthia took the job that would launch her into her post academic career – workforce development.   Working as the Director of Planning for the CETA division of the USVI Dept of Labor, Cynthia was responsible for oversight and delivery of technical and program services to state workforce development agencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Over the next 23 years, Cynthia held professional positions managing, directing and designing employment and training programs at federal, state and local levels including serving as Director of Planning for the U S Virgin Islands Department of Labor.    

In addition to her very impactful professional career, Cynthia sustained her interest in art and has exhibited solo and in group shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, Richmond and in and around Boston.  She is a founder of the New England Women Artists of Color Association (NEWOCA) and has mounted numerous exhibitions of women’s art in the Boston area and several exhibitions in Rhode Island.  

In 2002, Cynthia relocated to Rhode Island upon retiring from her position as the Director of Grants at Roxbury Community College. In 2003, she began to work for change in Rhode Island as she’d done for every other place she’d live before this 

Throughout her personal and professional life, Cynthia Scott has not stopped fighting for equal opportunity for marginalized communities. We honor her this Women’s Month and thank her for her dedication and hard work over the last 50+ years. Cynthia Scott is not only a trailblazer, but an avid advocate for justice.