NEI Story Quick Facts
Grant: Women's Entrepreneurial Program
Grant Amount Total: $281,000
Grant Period: 1/18/2013 - 4/10/2014
- Redefine philanthropy for women throughout Michigan.
- Help start-ups gain credibility and support within their communities.
- Support and expand entrepreneurial training for women in Detroit.
When you are a start-up, funding is the only way you can make it to the next milestone. The MWF’s grant of 15k helps legitimize our business plan.
- Andrea Roummel Dickson, ENT Biotech Solutions
Michigan Women’s Foundation
Though its origins are traditional, Michigan Women’s Foundation has become anything but your everyday philanthropy. Its mission remains the same–transforming Michigan to achieve equality and empowerment for women and girls–but the ways in which it fulfills that mission are evolving. Programs like the Angel Micro Loan Fund are at the cutting edge of philanthropy, allowing Women-run businesses to get critical financing in the early stages of their development that is not available to them elsewhere. This investment is backed with other critical support, such as mentoring, coaching, and financial planning.
NEI is proud to support the Michigan Women’s Foundation in creating a local economy that is not only robust, but also inclusive.
Delta Theta Sigma - Detroit Chapter, Twice Nice Upscale Resale
The Detroit chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, an organization with a long commitment to community service, wanted to do more to help the community. The Delta’s wanted to create a space where shoppers could buy upscale clothes and furniture at competitive prices and economically challenged people could learn new skills. They took over the inventory of a Sears store that was closing and leased an old Ford dealership that they transformed into Twice Nice UpScale Resale. But they needed additional capital to launch this social venture, so they turned to the Michigan Women’s Foundation.
The Delta’s were able to secure a loan from Michigan Women’s Foundation that allowed them to purchase equipment and fixtures and pay for other start up costs. Thanks to that support and the Deltas’ hardwork, Twice Nice opened its doors on Black Friday, 2013. The Michigan Women’s Foundation saw that the Delta’s were filling a gap in the market, and in return filled a gap in their financing.
Andrea Roummel Dickson
ENT Biotech Solutions
Andrea Roummel Dickson
Andrea Roummel Dickson’s husband, a physician specializing in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) procedures, developed a device that could revolutionize ENT surgeries by making them safer, more efficient, and less traumatizing for patients. Dickson believed in the device so deeply, she left a successful career at Wayne State University, where she was Executive Vice President, to run ENT Biotech Solutions with her husband.
Commercializing such devices can be difficult. Investors are wary of getting involved too early in the process. ENT Biotech secured a patent for their device, but needed funding to get the company off the ground. When others were hesitant to invest, Michigan Women’s Foundation provided ENT Biotech Solutions with an essential loan that allowed Andrea and her husband to validate their business model and attract outside investors. “Michigan Women’s Foundation allowed us to bridge the startup. If you cannot bridge that gap you will never get off of the ground.”