Business / Freelance

Learn about the many programs, events, and resources available to students and alumni interested in entrepreneurship and freelancing!

Entrepreneurship is an inherent part of the RISD experience. In fact, a majority of RISD alumni will either freelance or run their own business at some point in their career. The Career Center can connect students and alumni from all disciplines with multiple kinds of support to take their ideas to the next level. Check out some of the key RISD resources below to start forging an entrepreneurial path of your own!

RISD Events

Attend these annual events to learn core business skills and get inspired by successful entrepreneurs and established fine artists.

Opportunities for RISD Students

Explore these exciting ways to connect to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem!

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HBS Core Program

RISD’s collaboration with Harvard's HBS CORe Program will provide you with the fundamentals of business from Harvard's Business School. You can be eligible for scholarship support from Harvard if you're also currently receiving financial aid from RISD.

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RISD E’Ship

RISD’s first and only student club devoted to entrepreneurship, by art and design. Learn about their events and programs at their website, including a student-run accelerator program for students with ideas for a venture.

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Brown/RISD Summer B-Lab

The B-Lab is an eight-week paid summer experiential, immersive program in entrepreneurial leadership open to Brown and RISD students.

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RI Business Competition

The RI Business Competition, with a special student track, seeks to promote the development of start-up & early stage companies through an annual contest and $260K in prize money.

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Better World by Design Conference

An annual student-led innovation conference at Brown University & RISD that celebrates interdisciplinary collaboration between designers, educators, & entrepreneurs.

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Design for America

DFA is a nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams, including RISD/Brown, using design to create local & social impact through real-world projects.

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Work at a Startup

These programs provide paid opportunities for students to work at top startups.

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KP Fellowship

Over the course of a paid summer internship, KP Design Fellows join tech startups, where they develop their skills and are mentored by an executive within the company.

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NEA Next

A paid summer intern program for the world’s most talented up and coming design and product minds.

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Venture for America

VFA is a program for talented recent grads to spend 2 years in the trenches of a start-up with the goal to revitalize American cities.

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Freelancing

For those interested in having a freelance practice as part of their career, we have the advice and resources you need to be successful.

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Freelancing Resources

Freelancers should be prepared to learn basic business skills as well as commit to marketing their abilities. This page outlines some of the key things to consider when freelancing, along with some helpful resources you can use.

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RISD Alumni Entrepreneur Stories

Past speakers from RISD Mindshare talk about how they built their studios, practices, and businesses.

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Videos of Entrepreneur Lectures

Watch over 50 videos of RISD alumni sharing their thoughts on how they built their business or studio practice. Learn from other creative entrepreneurs describing how they made it happen!

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