McKee Administration Announces Launch of Program That Will Award $3M to Support Minority Business Enterprises in Rhode Island


PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced today the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Rhode Island Minority Business Accelerator Program’s Intermediary-Based Initiative that will provide approximately $3M in awards to intermediaries to administer programs to support the growth of minority business enterprises (MBEs).


“Rhode Island continues to prioritize racial and ethnic diversity in business by launching this great initiative,” said Governor McKee. “It provides much-needed cash flow that will allow women- and minority-owned businesses to grow, contributing even more to Rhode Island’s already strong economy.”


Funded in the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, the Minority Business Accelerator Program is a collection of initiatives aimed at enhancing the growth of minority business enterprises in Rhode Island.


“Providing equitable access to capital and support services for all businesses, especially Rhode Island’s minority business enterprises, is critical,” said Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “I am confident this program will open doors for many businesses in the state from historically marginalized communities, enabling them to thrive and grow in the state’s economy.”


The RFP seeks to fund eligible proposals that support the goals of the program and is open to proposers such as non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, trade associations, chambers of commerce, higher education institutions, and/or co-working space operators. Eligible uses of funds include:


  • Technical assistance in the following areas:
  • Accounting & Bookkeeping
  • Legal advice & services
  • Marketing, communications, branding & public relations.
  • Customer Data & User Experience Analytics
  • Strategic & Business Planning
  • Human Resources & Payroll Services
  • Information & Computer Technology (IT)
  • Website Development Support
  • Business Funding Pitch & Grant Writing
  • Supply Chain & Procurement
  • E-Commerce
  • Fostering Innovation and Technology Adoption
  • Providing physical space for co-working and/or programming
  • Entrepreneurship and business start-up training
  • Mentorship programming and networking opportunities
  • Assistance registering a business with the state and a municipality.
  • Training and assistance with a licensing process
  • Assistance and education relating to access to capital and banking requirements.
  • DEDI Directory registration preparedness
  • Information and assistance around business readiness for government contracting
  • Translation services


Proposals must be submitted to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation no later than 2 p.m. on April 28, 2023. No phone calls or late submissions will be accepted.


Interested proposers can obtain a copy of the RFP by clicking here or by visiting or by visiting the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation at 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island 02908.