Welcome to my first installment of "Doing Business In The D" a series highlighting entrepreneurs and business resources in and around the city of Detroit. The city of Detroit has so many organizations targeted to small business growth that many entrepreneurs don't know about. Today, I'm highlighting a few of them.
1. Hatch Detroit
Hatch Detroit was started in 2011. Every year, businesses compete for $50,000 cash to open a storefront within the city of Detroit. This year's winner is Live Cycle Detroit. Winners are based on a "crowd entrepreneurship" model where others can vote on their favorite company to decide who wins the $50K prize.
Hatch also has a really exciting Neighborhood Initiative where they have targeted The Avenue of Fashion (on Livernois Avenue), The Villages development (Agnes retail strip, between Parker St. and Van Dyke), and the Grandmont/Rosedale business district (the business strip located on Grand River Avenue). Hatch has identified areas of improvement for each business district to improve the viability of the areas. They recently installed modern store signs for many business on the Avenue of Fashion on Livernois.
If your business is in need of a storefront, definitely check out their contest and past winners.
2. The New Economy Initiative
The New Economy Initiative was founded in 2007 when 10 foundations donated a record $100 million to spur economic development in Michigan and specifically, Southeast Michigan and the City of Detroit. The goal of NEI is to “return Detroit to its position as a global economic leader.” The goals of the NEI over the next five years include:
- 1,000 new or renewed enterprises
- 20,000 new jobs
- $1 billion invested into the entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Build a dense, vibrant and connected Urban Innovation District that attracts diverse resources and talent
On the organization's website, they have a ton of resources including a Co-Working guide, metro Detroit events for entrepreneurs and local business spotlights. The NEI website also profiles grants and competitions for new businesses.
3. Build Institute
The Build Institute offers classes, networking, tools and resources to help Detroit entrepreneurs turn their business goals into reality. Their programs include:
- Open City - a fun, informal monthly networking event
- Build Basics - an 8-week business planning course
- Build Bazaar - a pop up marketplace for small businesses
- Build Social - trains social entrepreneurs to make a difference in their communities
- Pilot - a retail pop-up project in partnership with Opportunity Detroit
- Build Next - provides ongoing alumni networking and educational workships
I'm looking forward to taking part in some of our areas business support networking events and programs. It's a great time to be an entrepreneur in the city of Detroit!