In culmination of a year of working on group challenges with nonprofits and organizations from various sectors around the City of Detroit, each fellow in the month of July takes on their own personal challenge. These are called Personal Impact Projects. We as fellows are allowed to exercise all that we’ve learned in the past year at Challenge Detroit, as well as leverage connection made throughout the city or create new connections. We’re given the freedom to explore topics that interest us personally and are encouraged to work with organizations that we love or want to create impact with.

For my personal impact project, I chose to work with Build Institute, a small business incubator in the city of Detroit that promotes community based entrepreneurship for all inclined and interested. Build supports those endeavors by offering Build Basics classes that teaches the fundamentals of running your own business, by organizing networking opportunities that extend beyond their 1,000 alumni and to other incubators and entrepreneurial collaborators as well, and by providing insight and access into resources around the city.

Sounds great, right? Well they are. They have some pretty impressive accomplishments, and supporting data to back it up, that were achieved only in 5 years of existence. Maybe you’ve heard of Build Institute but don’t know the full extent of their services, or maybe you’ve never heard of this great and accessible resource in your own backyard. That’s why I’m partnering with them. My goal is to help Build better tell their story to a wider audience in order to gain recognition and more press attention.

In four weeks my goal is to generate reusable and highly shareable content that highlights the wonders of Build with a unique perspective in order to get valuable press attention. I will also leave Build with a strategic plan for how to use that content and how to continue the work of generating higher impact public relations connections. Build Institute is an amazing resource for entrepreneurs, learners, growers, and doers in the metro area and I want to make sure that people know about them and all the extensive and helpful programs they have. The whole project is to generate more awareness for Build so they inturn can build their impact in the City of Detroit.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Build Institute and I am so grateful for this opportunity. As I leave you dear readers with this tease of what I’ve been doing in July, I want to make sure I highlight the amazing programs Build offers and I encourage you to check out their website and Facebook Page for event and program updates. (Can a girl make a plug, please?!)

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  • Build Basics: an affordable, 8-week business and project planning course. It’s offered on a sliding scale ($200-$500) and they cover multiple topics including: personal credit and budgeting; legal structure, licensing, and tax issues; start-up and overhead costs; sales unit and break even points; sales, profit goals, and cash flow; target markets, market research, and mission; competition, pricing, and goals; financing sources, and loan process.
  • Build Social: a program that trains, develops, and coaches social entrepreneurs who are seeking to address Detroit’s social and/or environmental issues via for-profit business models.
  • Build Bazaar: a rotating pop-up marketplace for emerging entrepreneurs to sell, connect, and collaborate.
  • Open City: a free forum for aspiring and established business owners to learn, network, and exchange information in a fun and lively atmosphere.
  • Build Next: opportunities for alumni to continue education and connect via fun and informative networking events.
  • Pilot: a retail pop-up space for emerging entrepreneurs to sell their product, establish a market, and get feedback.