Greetings from Detroit! We are weeks into our final group challenge project and our team is extremely excited about the progress we have made thus far. Our challenge focuses on place-based entrepreneurship and our team is specifically looking at a micro-lending program. During our first meeting, I was in way over my head; my brain was spinning with new terminology and I’ll admit – I wasn’t even sure what micro-lending really meant.
Now as week two has come and gone not only do I feel much more prepared but also inspired at what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Our team met with two entrepreneurs who have worked with our challenge partner, ProsperUS Detroit, a program of Southwest Solutions. One owns a cell phone and computer repair store in the Cody Rouge/Warrendale neighborhood, and the other owns Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions in the Islandview neighborhood. Both people had various experiences that led them to their current businesses and both offered a wealth of knowledge and advice on what it takes to become an entrepreneur. It can be very difficult especially if you are new to the area, have limited knowledge on the different neighborhoods as well as resources available to you. What they both emphasized is that it takes a lot of courage, determination, passion as well as love to grow your business.
The ProsperUs program through Southwest Solutions is one of the many great organizations in Detroit that provide entrepreneurs with training, business services, as well as micro-lending for business owners to finance their endeavors. To learn more about them and the programs they offer take a look at their website, http://www.prosperusdetroit.org.
As we continue in our final challenge, our goal as a team is to help raise awareness for these programs offered and reach out further into these communities to other entrepreneurs in need. Being able to interview just a small fraction of all the small business owners in the city has inspired me to see beyond my own career path and that maybe down the line, I too may become an entrepreneur. For the meantime enjoy a photo of my best Mardi Gras pose 🙂