News & Events

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Providence, RI and CWE announce the launch of the PVD Self-Employment Program

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined members of the Providence City
Council, Economic Opportunity Director Brian Hull, Center for Women and Enterprise
(CWE) Director for Rhode Island, Maryellen O’Mahony, and Francine Lepizzera,
Workforce Development Supervisor for Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston at
the Providence netWORKri Job Center to announce the launch of the PVD
Self-Employment Program. The program will provide up to 100 unemployed and
under-employed Providence residents with the entrepreneurship training and support
necessary to allow them to start their own businesses and be reemployed.

“Small businesses are a driver of economic growth and when they succeed our city
succeeds,” said Mayor Elorza. “This is a great opportunity for aspiring
entrepreneurs who want to gain important skills and education to successfully launch
and grow their business.”

The PVD Self-Employment Program will be administered by the Center for Women and
Enterprise and will offer participants business plan development courses and foster
relationships with business mentors to create new opportunities for economic growth
in Providence. Made possible with $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG) funding through the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Program will
help participants gain the financial literacy, practical business skills, and access
to capital required to start and grow small businesses.

“The Center for Women & Enterprise is honored to partner to with the City of
Providence to provide training, mentors and resources to help unemployed and
under-employed Providence residents increase their professional success, personal
growth, and financial independence.” said Maryellen O’Mahony, Director, CWE Rhode
Island. “The PVD Self-Employment program will not only provide participants with
tools needed to start their own business but also help create economic activity
resulting in new businesses, new jobs and increase wages in our communities.”

The program consists of two components with focuses on business planning and
business mentorship to ensure success. The Business Planning program is an intensive
and comprehensive 3-week course that walks participants through the creation of a
bank-ready business plan. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday at the
Providence netWORKri Center with required homework assignments which must be
submitted by the end of each day. On the first two Fridays, participants will be
required to carry out independent essential business research, and on the final
Friday, participants officially graduate from the program.

Immediately after graduation, participants will start a 6-week Mentoring Program.
Twice a week participants will attend mandatory meetings at the Center. The first
meeting will be spent working with a mentor to create a work-plan to prepare for the
launch of the business. Every week the participants will meet with their business
mentor at the Center to review their progress on the work-plan and to receive
specialized help and assistance. During their other weekly meeting at the Center, participants will attend workshops on various topics related to launching a
business. Workshop topics will be selected to reflect the needs and requirements of each cohort of participants.

Providence residents interested in applying for the PVD Self-Employment Program can
or contact the Mayor’s Center for City Services for more information by dialing 3-1-1.