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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp Ensures Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Detroit, MI (May 2024) - During his 50-plus-year career as a Detroit musician, Freddie Palmer noticed a common problem among on-stage keyboardists: their sustain pedal never stayed in one place. This often caused distractions and forced musicians to make adjustments that took them out of the moment. Palmer often wondered why no one had come up with a solution. So, he set out to invent one.

Duri

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Global Detroit Connects Immigrant Entrepreneurs to Critical Resources

Detroit, MI (May 2024) - There was a time when Fardusee Jaigirdar, Tahira Lasker and Farjana Dali would get together as friends to create event decor just for fun. It was a passion that they hadn’t necessarily considered beyond a hobby. But when Global Detroit’s Gracie Xavier spotted the group’s talent, she pointed out that their skills could be turned into a business. As the women entertained the idea and brainstormed the possibilities with Xavier, they began to get excited. They realized this is something they wanted to do.

In 2

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Bolstering Business for Small Apparel Retailers with Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Detroit, MI (March 2023) - Think back to the pandemic. Imagine the streets of Midtown Detroit, with all its bustling businesses and restaurants, suddenly as empty as a ghost town. While many of Detroit’s small businesses have recovered, Midtown’s independent apparel shops continue to lag behind, struggling to adapt to decreased foot traffic and increased online competition.

The

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Venture North Elevates Entrepreneurs in Underserved Michigan Communities

Traverse City, MI (November 2023) - In Kalkaska, Michigan, more than 90 families rely on daily childcare services from the Blue Fish Early Learning Center. When the education-based center first opened in 2019, it answered a growing demand for infant and toddler daycare in the region. Blue Fish’s owner, Kristin Andrews, was committed to providing this essential service in her hometown, but she needed business and legal assistance as her center expanded. She turned to Venture North.  

Vent

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

T.E.A. Helps Homeless Women Find a Path to Job-Readiness and Self-Sufficiency

Detroit, MI (May 2023) - On any given night in Detroit, homelessness impacts 14,000+ people, many of whom are Black women and children. These families often face insurmountable barriers including lack of access to employment opportunities and adequate transportation, challenges in mental health and systemic racism that make it nearly impossible to feel physically or financially safe, much less self-sufficient.

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Empowerment Plan Breaks the Cycle of Homelessness and Launches Careers

Detroit, MI (May 2023) -Veronika Scott had a brilliant idea. While working on a college project to design for those in need, she came up with a sketch of a coat that could double as a sleeping bag. To hone the design and understand those who could benefit from it, she spent countless hours at a nearby warming center. Her idea quickly gained interest in the community, and by the time her class ended, Veronika received multiple coat requests.

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Centrepolis Accelerates Entrepreneurial Ideas in Michigan Manufacturing

Southfield, MI (May, 2023) - Michigan’s manufacturing landscape is brimming with incredible ideas. Whether it’s the creation of eyeglasses made from discarded water bottles or the development of AI-based ergonomic monitoring, these diverse and creative ideas offer an exciting glimpse into the future. However, there is a funding gap for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are developing these new products, some of which have the potential to significantly advance innovation, sustainability, and design in Michigan.

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center Creates Career Paths for Detroiters

Detroit, MI (April, 2022) - Veronica Williams was living in a homeless shelter when she started the Fundamentals of Industrial Sewing and Production (FISP) curriculum through Detroit’s Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC). She was uncertain of her next step in life, but began to find new purpose as a student in FISP.  FISP trained Veronica not only in traditional sewing skills but in advanced and emerging technologies — all paths to high-potential careers throughout the sewn goods industry. For Veronica, this opened the door to a new beginning. She aced the course and had the opportunity to become one of ISAIC’s first paid apprentices, the next step to a future with unlimited possibilities.

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Lean Rocket Lab Empowers Local Entrepreneurs

Jackson, MI (April, 2022) - Felicia is a single mom living in Jackson, Michigan, with big goals of owning and running a food business. She’s been diligently saving money with the hopes of eventually buying a food truck to launch her dreams . It’s small businesses like Felicia’s that drive communities and economies forward. In fact, 64% of the jobs created in the United States  in 2019 were created by small businesses. Yet at the same time, many small businesses fail to thrive due to financial, educational and social barriers. This is particularly true in small communities such as ,  Jackson, Michigan. One of the missions of Jackson’s Lean Rocket Lab is to support local entrepreneurial ideas like Felicia’s and give  small businesses the best chance to succeed.

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Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Launching Dreams into Action at the Allen Neighborhood Center Accelerator Kitchen

Lansing, MI (November, 2021) -You can feel the excitement when you walk into the Allen Neighborhood Center’s Rathbun Accelerator Kitchen in Lansing. Four small food businesses — Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes, Tantay Peruvian Cuisine, Smoothie Queen, and Gogi 2 — recently opened in this sparklingly new, shared-used kitchen, taking the next step in their entrepreneurial food journeys, supported by a Walters Family Foundation grant.

All

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