“Co-working spaces have increased by 400 percent in the last two years because they offer what forward-thinking entrepreneurs are looking for – community and collaboration.”
-Forbes Magazine

Just how does a philanthropic organization looking for ways to connect to the people and organizations it serves, better embed itself in its work? In the new economy perhaps there’s no better place than co-working and shared spaces. Welcome to NEI Street Level. Over the next two to three years, NEI staff hopes to be on the street a few days a week by purchasing co-working space memberships throughout Greater Detroit. We begin with our Grand Circus membership.

As an organization that derives much of its leverage from financial resources, we innately understand that growing the economy is much more a result of relationships. Our hope is that, by the sheer nature of our work, we can help foster connections that accelerate growth, and provide more access for all of our varied populations to the activities driving prosperity. Imagine an NEI-organized meeting with neighborhood entrepreneurs at Grand Circus where they can see, understand and connect with tech training that might help them grow their businesses. Or maybe it’s two entrepreneurial service providers colliding accidentally through NEI work, where a formidable partnership is born.

Through meetings, events, and a little contrived serendipity we’re not exactly sure what will happen during NEI Street Level. We do know that it is a unique approach in philanthropy as we very intentionally join in the region’s bourgeoning entrepreneurial movement by physically planting ourselves right in the middle of it. Follow us on our journey here at neweconomyinitiative.org for updates and blog posts, and mark your calendars for the NEI sponsored Detroit co-working week October 20-24.