History of NEI

Between 2000 and 2010, 50% of all the jobs lost in the U.S. were in Michigan.* The state lost 367,000 manufacturing jobs over the same period, and Michigan dropped 21 spots in per capita income, from 18th to 39th. Detroit and southeast Michigan were particularly hard hit.

It was in this climate that, in 2007, 10 foundations contributed an initial $100 million to form the New Economy Initiative, a philanthropic collaboration with the bold goal of returning Detroit to its position as a global economic leader. Recognizing entrepreneurship as a powerful means of diversifying and strengthening the region’s economy, NEI has invested in building a network of support for entrepreneurs across southeast Michigan.

In 2014, NEI announced a $33.25 million recapitalization to continue its work.

Funders to date include:
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit)
  • Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (Southfield, Michigan)
  • Ford Foundation (New York)
  • Hudson-Webber Foundation (Detroit)
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, MIchigan)
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Miami)
  • The Kresge Foundation (Troy, MIchigan)
  • McGregor Fund (Detroit)
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint, Michigan)
  • Skillman Foundation (Detroit)
  • The William Davidson Foundation (Troy, Michigan)
  • Surdna Foundation (New York)
*According to the Michigan Turnaround Plan.