Bridges to Business in Rhode Island

By IINE Development Intern

The Providence Business News profiled the International Institute of New England’s Bridges to Business program and its successful expansion into the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center this week. Bridges to Business, launched in 2009, employs a curricular structure geared specifically towards helping entrepreneurs build businesses from scratch or cultivate their existing enterprises.

While the current economic climate remains volatile, it is not void of business opportunities says small business specialist Ryan McDonnell. Many self-starting Americans recognize that ingenuity is always at a premium, utilizing the educational opportunities offered by the program to take control of their financial futures and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration hosted by Johnson & Wales University, has seen increased attendance in pre-venture and start-up workshops over the last year, says Adriana Dawson, associate state director; “We’ve seen a lot more people who have been displaced or laid off and are trying to see if being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle they want to pursue.”

To date, Bridges to Business has served 33 clients across Rhode Island through classes and counseling.

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