Application Process

The NEIdeas application process is catered to the busy business owner. Whether a business owner has participated in a challenge before or not, this is a chance to practice marketing an idea for growth through a very simple application process.

ALL APPLICANTS   There are three ways to apply to NEIdeas:

  1. Apply Online here
  2. Mail a printed application to:
    NEIdeas, c/o New Economy Initiative,
    333 Fort St, Suite 2010
    Detroit MI 48226
  3. Turn-in a printed application to an NEIdeas Ambassador

If applying online, applicants will receive an automatic confirmation email after submitting. If applying by mail, or in person, applicants will receive a confirmation email once applications are processed. It may take several weeks to process applications. Please note that an email address is necessary in order to receive confirmation that an application has been received.

Applicants can get help completing an application at NEIdeas Ambassador locations throughout Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. 

NEIdeas Info Sessions & Workshops will also be held for applicants while the application process is open. Please visit our Events page here for the most updated schedule.



After the application period closes, NEIdeas will narrow the pool of Applicants and identify Finalists. NEIdeas will notify Finalists, who will be asked to submit additional information for final consideration:

$10k Challenge Finalists will be asked to submit (1) their most recent tax return, (2) a completed 2017-18 financial questionnaire, and (3) additional information about their proposed use of the award.

Finalists can get help with the request for additional information. If selected, Finalists will receive more information and an invitation to a voluntary workshop dedicated to the financial questionnaire. We will post Finalist announcements on our News and Events page.

Finalists will have a limited amount of time to turn in the required additional information. If information is not turned in on time, an Applicant may be disqualified. The Jury will use this information, along with original applications, to recommend $10k Challenge Winners. (Please note that Jurors do not directly handle sensitive financial information.)

Jury recommendations will be reviewed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) which will make the final determination of all Winners.

NEI, in partnership with CFSEM, will officially notify all Applicants by mail.