There’s big money behind Detroit’s bet on entrepreneurs as well: not from the government, and not from the auto manufacturers, even as they recover from their near-death experiences. In 2008, the Ford, Kresge, Kellogg, and Knight foundations, along with six others, stepped up with a combined $100 million investment. But after 18 months, the coalition had made just seven grants. “We didn’t know what to do to transform the economy,” admits David Egner, the president and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation. After taking over the reins of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, he steered the investment toward grants for entrepreneurs, helping create 425 companies and 6,900 jobs–half in Detroit.