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Making The Most Of Your ‘Downtime’

Hub blog Make the best of your downtime

We’ve all had those days. In fact, we’re having one of those days today. There’s about 12 inches of snow making it’s way down all day, client meetings are cancelled, and we’re pretty much caught up on work. It’s a wonderful feeling to have things crossed off your To-Do List. Wonderful that is, until the guilt starts creeping in. If you’re anything like us, you don’t do “downtime” well. While you may be dreaming of cuddling under a blanket and mindlessly binging on Netflix, when it comes to actually doing it, you find it hard to shut your working brain off. And now it’s a snowy Tuesday, and while you probably deserve a day off, you’re finding it hard to get past that “I should be doing something” feeling.

Well, we’re here to tell you it’s ok. It’s ok to take a little downtime every once and while, and it’s also ok to want to make the most of it. We’ve got a list here for you of some of our favorite ways to take it easy, all while keeping your brain churning and your business growing.

1. Review relevant publications. Take some time to review the newest trends that are happening in your business, or better yet how to market your business. You may learn a new way to advertise, how to better optimize your current outlets, how markets are shifting, or how other businesses, like yours, are succeeding. Some of our favorites (for our industry of course)? SmartBrief – An awesome collection of business, marketing and advertising news focusing on newest and upcoming trends. Advertising Age – Check out what some of the largest companies and agencies are doing and brainstorm about how you can use similar strategies in your own business. Business Insider – After checking out a few of the entertaining op ed’s, we head on over to the Advertising and Media sections to get some of the insider information on what’s happening in the industry.

2. Get your learn on. Have you jumped onto the online class trend yet? If not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to learn some best practices, new marketing techniques, insider secrets and ways to inspire growth. Learn from some of the best in their business and learn the same tips and tricks they’ve used to grow their businesses to become major players in the market. Amy Porterfield – A former business consultant, she’s completely transitioned her business into online training ranging from webinars to social media marketing. Melanie Duncan – The Pinterest queen, Melanie Duncan teaches you how to kick butt in one of the fastest revenue driving platforms on the market. Marie Forleo – The founder of B-School, Marie Forleo can help you get past any negativity or doubt that can come creeping in when you’re not looking. Courtney Foster-Donahue – A little quirky, Courtney breaks down the always illusive Facebook, and how to actually create Facebook ads that work. Hub Digital – Who can forget your favorite crew from Hub Digital? With classes ranging from prepping your digital content, to blogging, to getting your website to the first page in search (that’s right! Exciting stuff coming soon!) we’re sharing all our best secrets that we use to propel our small business clients.

3. Plug into a Podcast. Grab your headphones and listen to some of your fav’s without having to read through lengthy blogs. Better yet? Jump on a treadmill, pick up your duster, or apply a your favorite face mask, and you can now multitask growing your business while getting a little quality “you” time. Amy Porterfield – She’s back, and bringing in some of her favorite friends sharing their top insider secrets. Gary Vaynerchuk – If you’re not offended by swearing, Gary Vee gets real about all things social media, entrepreneurship and business best practices. The Fizzle Show – who says growing your business has to be so serious? The Fizzle Show hilariously takes on entrepreneurship and focuses on how to stay creative.

The Lady Project announces Women’s Entrepreneurship Week, Celebrating Women in Power November 14-19

Providence, Rhode Island:  The Lady Project announces its first annual Women Entrepreneurship Week November 14-19.  Women’s Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of women owned businesses in Providence. Through education and inspiration, The Lady Project’s first annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Week is redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur in Rhode Island.

Events include: 

  • 11/14: Designers & Makers Speakers Series – Join us Monday, November 14 at MOO from 6-8pm as The PVD Lady Project in partnership with Craftland & Moo celebrates the state’s designers and makers.
  • 11/15: Digital Storytellers – On Tuesday, November 15 join PVD Lady Project at Nail from 12-1pm for our lunch and learn as the talented women of NAIL Communications explain Digital Storytelling as it relates to consumer brands and today’s marketing environment.
  • 11/15: Change Makers – Join PVD Lady Project for our Change Makers Panel at Providence City Hall on Tuesday, November 15 from 6-8pm.  Our Change Makers Panel moderator Marisa O’Gara currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, she will be leading the panel.
  • 11/16: Celebrating Women of Color in Business – Join PVD Lady Project at Easy Entertaining on Wednesday, November 16 from 6-8pm for our panel discussion celebrating women of color in business. Moderator Brittanny Taylor, is a fashion and lifestyle photographer working in Providence.  Brittanny will lead the panel.
  • 11/17: Women in STEM – Join Lady Project and Girl Develop It at Upserve on Thursday, November 17 from 6-8pm for our Women in STEM Panel Discussion. Moderator Nora Meah is a talent hacker and public education reformer will lead a panel with featuring Principal Business Analyst, Lisa Fougere and Software Engineer and member of Girl Develop It, Katryn Mcintosh.
  • 11/18: Lunch + Learn with the Vanech Pontarelli Private Client Group– Join Lady Project at Circe from 12-1pm as Carrie McPherson, Senior Financial Associate for Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. leads this session with financial planning advice for your business.
  • 11/19: National Women’s Entrepreneurship Day – The PVD Lady Project will be hoisting a morning of relaxation and self-care at Providence Power Yoga on Saturday, November 19 starting at 9:30am.  Following the class please join us at CAV for a delicious brunch.
  • Help us in celebrating each other as we wrap up #PVDWEW at Cleverhood on November 19th from 7-9pm, with refreshments from North Bakery and Long Live Beerworks!

Women’s Leadership Council of United Way, in Partnership with RI College Advancement Division, Invites Community to Participate in Statewide Forum on Grade-Level Reading Panel of speakers to present Rhode Island’s plan to ensure 75 percent of the state’s 3rd grade students are reading at grade-level by 2025; Rhode Island KIDS COUNT data to be made available

Providence, R.I. (November 7, 2016) In a state where just one-third of students are proficient in grade-level reading by 3rd grade, the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of United Way of Rhode Island(UWRI) is partnering with the Rhode Island College Advancement Division to host a statewide forum on grade-level reading, titled “75 by 2025.” The event will feature a panel of speakers who will present Rhode Island’s plan to ensure that 75 percent of all third graders are reading at grade-level by 2025, as well as group breakout sessions for attendees to identify strategies to improve education in Rhode Island.

The event, which is free and open to all who wish to attend, will be held on Friday, November 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rhode Island College’s Alger Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Those interested in attending the “75 by 2025” forum are asked to register online by November 17.

The forum begins with a panel discussion featuring Victor Capellan, Superintendent of the Central Falls School District; Melissa Husband, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Providence; and Caitlin Molina, Executive Director of Providence Talks, moderated by Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. As part of the discussion, the panel will unveil Rhode Island’s plan to dramatically improve grade-level reading among third grade students by 2025 and make KIDS COUNT data available. Each table of attendees will receive a copy of the latest 2016 KIDS COUNT Factbook.

Following the panel, attendees will break into small groups to discuss strategies and actions in support of the WLC’s work to improve education, focusing on four areas: the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative, Chronic Absenteeism, High-Quality Pre-K Programming, and School-Based Interventions.

“This event is a great opportunity for all Rhode Islanders to come together and lend their leadership to the community around an important goal—improving the lives of youth across our state,” said Lisa Guillette, Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council, and Executive Director of Foster Forward. “We know that, according to research, students who lack proficiency in reading by third grade are four times more likely to drop-out of high school and that’s a troubling trend we can only reverse by working together.”

UWRI’s Women’s Leadership Council is an all-volunteer group that harnesses the power of women and our communities to improve childhood literacy and help youth succeed in the classroom and in life.

About United Way of Rhode Island 

United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has been working to improve the quality of life in Rhode Island for nearly 90 years. Together with its partners, UWRI is changing lives and strengthening our communities by investing in proven programs that work over the short-term, and are scalable over the long-term. For more information, visit


Polaris MEP Announces 2nd Round of Applications Open for Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

PROVIDENCE, RI – Polaris MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership), a division of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, announces today the second round of applications are open for the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge, a competitive opportunity for RI manufacturers supplying the defense industry to access over $1 million of available funding, expertise and hands-on design and product development talent. Awards are currently available to qualifying RI manufacturers with a defense focus. Applications can be found at is November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm.

In August of this year, 32 manufacturers were awarded nearly $700,000 after the first Manufacturing Innovation Challenge application period. “We are incredibly excited at the progress and already immediate results of the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge program to date,” said Christian Cowan, Center Director for Polaris MEP. “Manufacturers in the first round are accessing world-class experts from multiple disciplines to grow their companies through industrial design, innovation and education. We look forward to the next round of applications being as competitive and impactful.”

The second round of applications are open for Phase One Strategic Assessments. In this Phase, manufacturers get access to a top team of experts who evaluate the manufacturers’ current innovation landscape. This deep dive into the company involves over 75 hours of expert consulting led through strategic design facilitation. The deliverable is innovative ideas and actionable recommendations for business growth.

Manufacturers who complete Phase One can then be eligible for Phase Two Growth Implementation projects, to be awarded again in early 2017. With ideas and recommendations in hand from the prior phase, companies may access funding to support implementation plans for business development and innovation.

More information and the application can be found at For questions, contact Polaris MEP at 401-270-8896 or email

The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is a program of Polaris MEP, in partnership with Commerce RI, and made possible by a grant to Commerce RI from the Office of Economic Adjustment and U.S. Department of Defense.

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