Self-Employment Program

Providence Economic Development Department Staff

The PVD Self-Employment Program will provide unemployed and under-employed Providence residents with the training and support necessary so that they can become reemployed by starting their own businesses. The program will provide training and educational opportunities to 100 unemployed and under-employed Providence residents, helping them gain financial literacy, practical business skills, and access to capital required to start and grow small businesses. The Business Planning program is scheduled three times during the year (consists of 10 sessions) and is offered in English and Spanish. For more details about the schedule reach out to the Center for Women & Enterprise at

The program consists of a three-module course:

  • Business Planning
  • Mentoring Program
  • GAP Boot Camp


The Business Planning Program is a comprehensive course that walks participants through the creation of a bank-ready business plan.


Immediately after graduation from Business Planning, participants will start the Mentoring Program. As part of the program, participants will attend mandatory virtual meetings. The first meeting will be spent working with a mentor to create a work-plan to prepare for the launch of the business. Participants will meet with their business mentor to review their progress on the work-plan and to receive specialized help and assistance. At their other virtual meeting, 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.

GAP Boot Camp Once three Business Planning cohorts have graduated, a GAP Boot Camp will be scheduled to address any gaps/needs identified at the conclusion of the classes. The Boot Camp will be optional for participants. Additionally, an annual alumni networking session will be scheduled, to foster opportunities among participants to exchange lessons learned in the course of launching/growing their businesses; as well as to highlight milestones within their entrepreneurship journeys.