Best Small Business Resources in the Providence Area

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Rhode Island has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Providence area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Rhode Island.

Resources Available in your Area

Hope & Main

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking
  • Product Development

Description

Hope & Main offers use of a commercial kitchen space and food storage facilities. Their incubation program offers courses on everything from branding to food safety. Hope & Main aims to be a comprehensive resource for food-based entrepreneurs through its courses, incubation space, and all its other services.

Restrictions

This incubator is for food-based businesses.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

691 Main St.
Warren, RI 02885
401-245-7400
info@makefoodyourbusiness.org


Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc CWE RI

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Networking

Description

Women's Business Centers are nationwide programs established by the SBA to assist women in starting small businesses. Some of these centers are combined with other local organizations and use that relationship to offer even more services. Each Women's Business Center has counselors who can provide mentorship and assistance with business planning. Women’s Business Centers also provide a network of other businesses, and some have loan programs available

Restrictions

The Women's Business Centers are, as the name implies, meant for women primarily.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

132 George M. Cohan Blvd, 2nd Floor
Providence, RI 02903
401-277- 800 ext. 308
info.RhodeIsland@cweonline.org


Pilotworks

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Description

Pilotworks provides commercial kitchen space and relevant amenities (linen/garbage services, kitchen appliances, etc.). They also provide educational events and help new entrepreneurs find mentors through Pilotworks' connected network. Pilotworks also offers a coworking space so members can work on paperwork and other administrative tasks in between creating new dishes.

Restrictions

Pilotworks is for culinary businesses only. 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

55 Cromwell St.
Providence, RI 02907
401-383-2635


Providence Metro Area SBDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


Providence SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


Social Enterprise Greenhouse Incubator

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Product Development
  • Sales & Marketing

Description

Though the SEG Incubator is mainly an online resource, it will connect you with a mentor who will dedicate a certain amount of hours per week to be available to you. You can also take online courses and get access to information on a wide variety of business topics including marketing, accounting, legal issues, presentation skills, and more. This organization puts special emphasis on helping organizations that will have some form of social change. 

Restrictions

This incubator and all of its resources operate online. 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

10 Davol Sq.
Providence, RI 02903
401-272-2558

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 9 am - 5 pm


Sprout Coworking

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Accepts Walks In

Description

Sprout offers basic office amenities including conference rooms and technology for giving presentations. It also hosts both professional and social events for members.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

166 Valley St., Building 6M #103
Providence, RI 02909
401-536-9336
contact@sproutcoworking.com


The Lady Project

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Networking

Description

The Lady Project organizes events for women entrepreneurs to network, present ideas, and lead classes in their areas of expertise. While some evens are only for members, others are open to the general public. Lady Project Works is a collaborative workspace that includes office and event space rental and, soon, a coworking space for members only.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

79 Plain St.
Providence, RI 02903
401-680-0870
hello@ladyproject.org