News Bites: Black Business Week 2021 / Social Enterprise Greenhouse Spring 2021 Virtual Incubator Program / New RI Brewers Guild Board Members

by David Dadekian
Published: Last Updated on

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Black Business Week Rhode Island 2021

Black Business Week RI

Black Lives Biz honors Black History Month by highlighting Black Businesses and hosting the first Black Business Week of Rhode Island. 

Black Lives Biz is hosting Rhode Island’s first Black Business Week from February 15th – 20th 2021. The week will be filled with discounts, specials and sales from over 35 participating Black owned businesses along with two virtual events. Among the participating businesses are Nubian Nailz, Glow Cafe and The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop. 

What to Expect:

How to transition a side hustle into a scalable business is one of the week’s highly anticipated virtual events hosted by Sterling Clinton-Spellman, founder and CEO of Polished, alongside Chip Douglas and Karriem Kanston. This event will highlight stories of converting lifelong passions into successful and profitable businesses. During the event they will share tips, best practices and local resources on how to convert a hobby into a scalable business.

To RSVP for How to transition a side hustle into a scalable business and a full schedule of Black Business Week RIsee

Black Lives Biz is the nation’s leading search engine for Black-owned businesses with over 180,000 businesses listed nationwide. Our mission is to strengthen the alliances between Black owned businesses and to highlight all Black owned businesses through a digital portal. Visit to learn more.

Social Enterprise Greenhouse Announces Spring 2021 Virtual Incubator Program for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses – Apply by March 5, 2021

Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) has opened applications for its Spring 2021 Virtual Incubator program. The SEG Virtual Incubator is a five-week business education program that covers social entrepreneurship, business model planning, finances, and other important topics for startup organizations. More than 150 startups representing a wide variety of industries have graduated from the program since it began in 2017.

The SEG Spring 2021 Virtual Incubator begins with an orientation on March 15 and then meets twice weekly from March 22 to April 22 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The program will be conducted virtually using Zoom. Participants benefit from the experience of learning together with a cohort of fellow early-stage business owners and receive continued professional support after the program ends.

SEG’s Incubator program is designed for anyone who has an idea for a business or nonprofit that will create positive social impact while being financially sustainable. Motivated and coachable social entrepreneurs and small business owners from Rhode Island and beyond are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by March 5, 2021. More information and the application are available at

The SEG Incubator is sponsored by the RI Department of Labor and Training’s Back to Work RI program, Rhode Island Foundation, Central Providence Health Equity Zone, Citizens Bank, Island Foundation, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, and EJMP Fund for Philanthropy.

Rhode Island Brewers Guild Welcomes New Board Members

Three new members join the five-person board

The Rhode Island Brewers Guild, the official association focused on promoting Rhode Island’s beer manufactures and brew pubs, recently held elections for their Board of Directors.  The board is made up of five representatives from member breweries who are voted on by the 31-member organization.  The 2021 Board will retain two key members, Jeremy Ruff, owner/brewer from LineSider Brewing in East Greenwich and Morgan Snyder, owner/brewer at Buttonwoods Brewery in Cranston.  

Joining the Board of Directors for 2021 are Matt Richardson, owner/brewer at the recently expanded Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter, Armando DeDona, owner/brewer of Long Live Beer Works in Providence and Matthew Gray, President of Ragged Island Brewing Company in Portsmouth.  These new members replace Board members Jennifer Brinton of Grey Sail Brewing of RI, Tamara McKenney of Appanoug Brewing Company and Tony Barber of Ragged Island Brewing Co, whose terms have expired.

At their first monthly meeting on January 25th the board selected Jeremy Ruff to continue in his position as President and selected Matt Richardson as Vice President, Matthew Gray as Secretary and Armando DeDona as Treasurer.  The Board is charged with enhancing the marketing and promotion of the Ocean State’s growing brewery scene, legislative initiatives to spur business development and ensure compliance, as well as pursuit of technical training opportunities to enhance the quality of beer brewed in R.I.  

“The Rhode Island brewing community has seen significant growth in the number of beer manufacturers licensed in the State over the past 10 years.” said Executive Director, Gary Richardson.  “Today we have over 30 member breweries in the Guild with several more in planning phases.”

The RI Brewers Guild was a recent recipient of funding from the RI Commerce Corp’s “Take it Outside” grant which helped many brewers create or enhance outdoor beer gardens and seating areas to help safely retain tasting room sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years the Guild has successfully lobbied for changes to State laws that allow for on-site sampling and takeout sales directly from the breweries. In the Spring of 2020, the Guild launched the RI Brewery Passport App.  This digital passport allows beer fans a chance to visit each of the member breweries and earn prizes for milestones met along the way.  The Guild looks to focus on additional legislative initiatives in 2021 as well as promoting a collaboration beer series between member breweries throughout the year.

For more information about the RI Brewers Guild visit

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