Resources and opportunities for southeast Michigan business support organizations.
Volume 38, December 21, 2020

Make It Your Business is a newsletter from the New Economy Initiative highlighting resources and opportunities for southeast Michigan business support organizations (BSOs). Look for new editions in your inbox twice a month. 

Have a virtual event, resource, or opportunity to share? Send us a tip at
Are you a Wayne County small business? Please take the NEI Small Business Survey.

Shared in our previous newsletter, Detroit-based small business support organizations in partnership with New Economy Initiative (NEI) and other funding organizations are conducting a survey to better understand the needs of small businesses in the recovery from COVID-19. The responses provided will be kept confidential and will help these organizations better support you and your business.

We have had a great response so far. Thank you to those who have completed the survey, and please continue to share it with small businesses in your network to ensure we have a wide reach. Eligible respondents will be entered into a drawing for one of thirty $100 cash prizes. For additional information about this survey and its purpose, please email


Resources for business support organizations

To the BSOs and entrepreneurs navigating this difficult time, we are here to serve you and stand as a resource. This section contains relevant resources for BSOs and those who fund entrepreneurship, some being applicable to small businesses.


From Model D, Detroit Innovation series:

From TechTown:


From The Bridgespan Group:

From Fast Company:

From Forbes:

From Harvard Business Review:

From McKinsey & Company:

Lifting up the network

This section spotlights offerings and accomplishments of a few of the many organizations that support small businesses in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. If you have suggestions, please submit them to

Osborn Business Association work and members featured in Model D!

Osborn Business Association is a division of Osborn Neighborhood Alliance that develops, builds, and promotes the Osborn neighborhood in an effort to increase economic opportunities and quality of life in Osborn. Photo above by Nick Hagen. 

We are proud of the work Osborn Business Association (OBA) does to build and develop businesses in Osborn, and wanted to share with everyone this feature article from Model D. Learn more about the resilient small businesses they serve below. 

OBA will be launching its next series of Osborn Business Cohort workshops in January. For more information, contact OBA.


Detroit Economic Growth Corporation named Kai Bowman first-ever Vice President, DMB

Detroit Means Business (DMB) is a coalition of government, business, nonprofit and philanthropic partners created to assist small businesses in Detroit.

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) recently announced the hiring of Kai Bowman as Vice President, Detroit Mean Business. “Detroit Means Business (DMB) is a subsidiary of the Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) and was created to help local small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Bowman will provide strategic leadership to DMB, where he will oversee the build-out of DMB programming and small business support throughout the City.” Welcome Kai!  


Build Institute's Build Basics virtual winter class registration is now open

Build Institute empowers people to launch ideas and grow businesses by providing access to education, resources, and a supportive engaged community.

Are you planning a business and need an action plan? Connect with Build Institute and put your business ideas to work. Build Basics, their core 8-week business and project planning class, is designed for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Classes are taught by local experts and cover all the basics of starting a business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. You’ll leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs in Detroit, and the knowledge and confidence to take your idea to the next level. Build Basics classes start on January 14. 

We also want to give a shoutout to Build Institute's new president and CEO, Regina Ann Campbell. Welcome Regina! 


What we’re reading

The Warmth of Other Suns | Isabel Wilkerson

Books make wonderful last minute holiday gifts. For the book above and for all of your reading needs, please remember to support your local bookstore. The ones nearest and dearest to us are Source Booksellers, Pages Bookshop, and Book Suey.

We kept this newsletter brief because we recognize that you might need to get back to assisting entrepreneurs, running a small business, taking care of children or parents, wrapping presents, grocery shopping, dealing with the day-to-day hubbub, or resting. Thank you for readership and for all you have done to be resilient and innovative in a year full of challenges and loss. We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and safe holiday season, and we’ll be back sharing resources and opportunities in the new year.

- The NEI Team

For more virtual events, resources, and opportunities:
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