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  Trusted Connectors 
ProsperUs Detroit  TechTown  Osborn Neighborhood Alliance 
Michigan Women Forward  U-M Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project   Central Detroit Christian CDC 
Detroit Development Fund  Eastern Market Corporation  ACCESS 
Great Lakes Women’s Business Council  Centrepolis Accelerator  Southwest Detroit Business Association 
Black Leaders Detroit  Design Core Detroit  Midtown Detroit, Inc. 
Opportunity Resource Fund  Build Institute  Jefferson East, Inc. 
Detroit Community Wealth Fund  Accounting Aid Society  Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation 
Fair Food Network/ MI Good Food Fund  SCORE Foundation  Global Detroit 
  Fair Food Network  East Warren Development Corporation 
  Detroit Economic Growth Corporation  Michigan Black Business Alliance 
  Michigan: SBDC  Eastside Community Network 
  Endeavor Detroit  Arab American Women’s Business Council 
  ISAIC  Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation 
  Right to Start  Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber 
  Grace in Action Collectives  Michigan Hispanic Fund 
  BasBlue  Live6 Alliance 
  Zaman International   


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. 

The Team 

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