PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation is looking for
people with bold ideas for moving the state forward, and is offering $600,000 in
seed grants through the Carter Fellowships for Entrepreneurial Innovation.
Designed to stimulate solutions to Rhode Island challenges,
the initiative is made possible through the foresight and generosity of
philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter. The fellowship program, now
in its 7th year, is built around the spirit of entrepreneurship and seeks to
achieve community impact by investing in an individual’s creativity and
potential, and by providing freedom to apply fresh thinking to important challenges.
“This program enhances our state’s reputation as a place of
innovation and resourcefulness. We thank the Carter family for having the
vision to inspire bold thinkers to bring their best ideas to life,” said Neil
D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
As many as three applicants will be selected to receive up
to $200,000 over four years to test and implement innovative ideas that could
dramatically improve an area of life in Rhode Island.
Proposals will be evaluated on whether there is a new,
novel, or re-energized approach that has not been tried meaningfully in Rhode
Island; the potential benefits to the state, and the degree to which the
proposed outcome is achievable, among other factors.
Only individuals are eligible. Applicants do not have to be
residents of Rhode Island, but they must commit to living in Rhode Island
during the four-year duration of the Fellowship if selected.
The applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges:
Marie Langlois, retired managing director of Washington Trust Investors; Alan
Litwin, KLR managing director; and Lou Mazzucchelli, coordinator of Bryant
University’s Entrepreneurship Program. Judges will also meet with the Fellows
every six months, throughout the four-year duration of their Fellowship, to
measure progress and learning.
The one-page application is posted on the Foundation’s
website. The deadline to apply is Dec. 19. The Foundation expects to announce
the recipients in April 2018.
Applicants from the community of color have won two of the
last three fellowships. Ditra Edwards will launch SistaFire RI, to train a
statewide network of women of color to actively engage their communities in
addressing issues important to them. Raymond Two Hawks Watson plans to
capitalize on Rhode Island’s cultural heritage, history and diversity to drive
economic development and improve community relations through his Providence Cultural Equity Initiative.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most
comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2016, the
Foundation awarded a record $45 million in grants to organizations addressing
the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through
leadership, fundraising, and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with
individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its
true potential. For more information about applying for a Carter Fellowship,