PROVIDENCE, RI – Startups
and small businesses looking to expand have a new resource. The Rhode Island
Foundation today launched RIBizBuilder.com, an online directory to
information about low- and no-cost help with borrowing, marketing to potential
customers, local regulations and taxes, finding employees and more.
The website gives entrepreneurs access to
information about dozens of Rhode Island-focused organizations offering
services that help start and grow businesses in the Ocean State.
“Whether you are an established business, or a
startup, or if you just have an idea, the point of RI BizBuilder is to quickly
connect you with the people and entities that can help you with whatever you
need, so you can move on, quickly,” said Jessica David, the Foundation’s
executive vice president for strategy and community investments.
The Foundation plans a series of free
informational sessions in Providence to introduce business owners and
entrepreneurs to ribizbuilder.com face-to-face. They will take place on June 27
from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Elmwood Community Center, 155 Niagara St.; July 17
from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Indian Council, 807 Broad St.; and
July 19, at the Community Action Partnership of Providence, 518 Hartford Ave.
“RI BizBuilder is easy to use; just answer four
questions about the stage of your business, the type of assistance you’re
looking for, your industry and whether you have any special circumstances. The
site will find the most relevant information for you. You choose who you want
to connect with, and RI BizBuilder will contact the provider on your behalf,”
The directory was created by the Foundation in
partnership with the Center for Women & Enterprise, Rhode Island Commerce
Corporation, Rhode Island Small Business Development Center and many other
partners with funding from the Foundation. The initiative supports the
Foundation’s Economic Security strategic initiative.
“Starting and running a business is no easy task.
Small business owners are among the most resilient, hard-working, determined
and creative people I know. But even they can’t do it alone all the time. And
finding time to find the assistance and information that can help – about
capital, marketing, regulations, talent, and more – has not been as easy as it
should be,” said David.
The site contains more than 100 listings of
resources and services that are available for startups and small businesses in
Rhode Island. Visitors can narrow their search using a variety of filters
including the type of assistance they are looking for, their industry and
special factors such gender or military veteran status.
“RI BizBuilder is designed to help entrepreneurs
navigate the landscape of business supports in the state. This is a resource to
find low-and no-cost support services in Rhode Island. We are excited for you
to try it out, and to send us feedback,” said Carmen Diaz-Jusino, the
Foundation’s strategic program officer for economic security.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and
most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors,
the Foundation raised $38 million and awarded $43 million in grants to
organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse
communities in 2017.Through leadership, fundraising and grant making
activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the
Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more
information, visit rifoundation.org.