As the New Economy Initiative works to build an inclusive and effective network of support for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Wayne County, we work with partners that align with our mission.
New Economy Initiative and Invest Detroit Partnership
The Business Support Network Office, a partnership between the New Economy Initiative and Invest Detroit, is a critical part of NEI’s aim to strengthen inclusive support of Wayne County small businesses through a network of Business Support Organizations (BSOs). The Network Office is responsible for collecting data about small business needs and BSO offerings, building relationships with BSOs, and fostering cross-organization collaborations. This helps ensure that under-served small business owners have the tools they need to succeed including connections to resources, access to capital, practical assistance, and information.
The partnership with Invest Detroit, supported by NEI’s Small Business Support Network Fund, works with BSOs to target underserved small businesses in Wayne County that are owned by people of color and have less than 50 employees. While the partnership does not fund small businesses directly, the network of nonprofit BSOs collaborate to provide inclusive access to small business resources.
The activities of network coordination and gap identification inform the strategies of NEI’s grantmaking. Funding recommendations are made and BSOs apply for funding by invitation from NEI. Resources then reach the small businesses through the BSO programs that are funded, in part, by NEI.
Who Our Partnership Funds
|Mission Based Lenders
|Technical Assistance Providers
|Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
|Michigan Women Forward
|U-M Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project
|Central Detroit Christian CDC
|Detroit Development Fund
|Eastern Market Corporation
|Great Lakes Women’s Business Council
|Southwest Detroit Business Association
|Black Leaders Detroit
|Design Core Detroit
|Midtown Detroit, Inc.
|Opportunity Resource Fund
|Jefferson East, Inc.
|Detroit Community Wealth Fund
|Accounting Aid Society
|Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
|Fair Food Network/ MI Good Food Fund
|Fair Food Network
|East Warren Development Corporation
|Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
|Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance
|Eastside Community Network
|Arab American Women’s Business Council
|Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
|Right to Start
|Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber
|Grace in Action Collectives
|Michigan Hispanic Fund
Through support of the BSO network, we will assist approximately 12,000 businesses per year, 50% of which are led by owners of color, and we will improve capital and loan readiness.
Paul Jones is currently the Director of the Business Support Network Office. Lily Hamburger is the Associate Director of the Network Office. Jones has accepted the role as the CEO of ProsperUs Detroit, which will take effect in mid-January 2024. Hamburger will then assume the role of Director.
Networking and Education Events
The network convenes at our collaborative Worktable bi-weekly for a one-hour virtual session that includes announcements and news from BSOs, and a topic of conversation or discussion. Quarterly, we convene in-person for a longer Worktable session and deep-dive into how our ecosystem of inclusive small business support is evolving.
Our network members, staff of BSOs, volunteer their time and expertise to advance our collective work through subcommittees known as Action Groups.
Small Business Support Network Funders
- Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Ford Foundation
- Gilbert Family Foundation
- Hudson-Webber Foundation
- JPMorgan Chase
- Kresge Foundation
- Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- William Davidson Foundation