Make it


At NEI we are changing the face of our future by helping make thousands of ideas become the next economic engine. Granting. Convening. Changing a culture. All while getting the entrepreneurs and small businesses that will drive it, what they need, when they need it.

$500,000 in cash awards.

32 existing businesses.

Detroit. Hamtramck. Highland Park.

Berry Gordy was a business man who knew a good song when he heard one. But even with success, he wondered, “Why write songs for a company in New York only to be paid pennies on the dollar in royalties?” He had a bigger idea: bottle a sound, polish it up, and package it for the world under one roof in Detroit. Gordy just needed a little nudge and, in 1959, he got one. An $800 loan from his family (the equivalent of $6,400 today) helped Gordy build Motown Records and grow a legacy.

How does it work? Simple. You provide the idea, in two-hundred words. We provide the money to make it happen. NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth will award a total of $500,000 through two types of awards – The $10k and $100k Challenges.

Stay tuned for the results!


NEI Featured in August Delta Sky Magazine

Detroit Free Press Pulitzer Prize-Winning editor, Stephen Henderson, featured the New Economy Initiative and the NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth competition in the latest issue of Delta Sky Magazine that focuses on Detroit. NEIdeas is working to reward existing businesses in neighborhoods across the city with the best ideas for growth,... More...

NEI Stories

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation – D2D

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) saw a problem in Detroit: large corporations had... More...


We all know the importance of the auto industry in the development of Detroit. Yet we often forget... More...


Urban Innovation Exchange

Sep 24, 2014 , 9:00 am - Sep 26, 2014 , 1:00 pm

Cities across the U.S. are reinventing themselves in creative new ways. Sometimes the smallest projects can have the greatest impact. This... Learn More...