Lieutenant Governor Matos launches the 2022 Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Challenge – What’s Up Newp

Lieutenant Governor Matos launches the 2022 Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Challenge - What's Up Newp

Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos today kicked off Rhode Island’s fourth Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business pitch competition aimed at high school students across the state. In addition to helping students learn about the process of writing and pitching a business proposal, the competition will also award more than $10,000 in postsecondary scholarships.

“The LGEC encourages young Rhode Islanders to envision themselves as entrepreneurs and helps them develop the skillset they need to pursue that dream,” said Lieutenant Governor Matos. “My office is working to ensure that students in every part of the state participate, and I am excited to see what innovative ideas come out this year’s competition. I am grateful to our partners at the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and MillennialRI their continued commitment and support which make this initiative possible, and to Governor McKee for creating this program in 2017.”

Rhode Island students in Grades 9-12 can apply, either as individuals or as a team, by submitting a business plan to the Lieutenant Governor’s office by Saturday, December 31, 2022. All submissions will be scored on factors including the viability of their plan, the thoroughness of their research and market analysis, and their branding. The top five submissions will be selected to participate in a live business pitch competition at the end of January to present their ideas to a panel of judges made up of local entrepreneurs and small business owners. More information can be found at

The scholarship funds awarded through the Challenge are charitable donations from the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and other local organizations. The funds are distributed through MillennialRI, a local non-profit that encourages young professionals to build their career in Rhode Island. 

“The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are thrilled to once again partner with the Lieutenant Governor in support of her Entrepreneurship Challenge,” noted Ron McLean, president/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, a trade organization representing Rhode Island’s credit unions. “By taking a front seat in providing scholarship dollars today to fuel the challenge, credit unions help nourish and foster tomorrow’s successful business leaders throughout the Ocean State.”

“If we want young adults to choose Rhode Island and build their careers here, we should start by giving them the tools to succeed here from an early age. The Entrepreneurship Challenge is great way for students to hone their skills and prepare for real-life business ownership,” said Travis Escobar, President of MillennialRI. “We’re proud to work with local sponsors to empower young Rhode Islanders across the state.”

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What’sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

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