Eligibility Requirements

The $10k Challenge is for existing for-profit businesses physically located and operating in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. An ‘existing’ business is one that is at least three years old by the application deadline of June 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm.

  • If a business has moved to Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park from elsewhere, NEIdeas requires at least one year in the new locations before being eligible to apply.

  • Majority owners of existing businesses must be legal residents 18 years of age or older.

  • Businesses must be in good standing with the IRS.

  • Home-based businesses are eligible to apply.

  • Independently owned businesses that participate in retailers’ cooperatives are eligible to apply.

  • Regional businesses that are based in Southeast Michigan are eligible to apply; however, award funds must be directed to their Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park-based operations.

The $10k Challenge is for existing businesses that gross under $750,000 annually that have ideas to grow.  Businesses may be Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Corporations (Inc., Corp.), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), or Limited Liability Partnerships (LP, LLP).


*The following are NOT eligible to apply:

  • Franchises are not eligible to apply.
  • Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3C) are not eligible to apply.
  • Not-for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
  • Business owners who are: (1) employees and Steering Committee board members past and present of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), Global Detroit, and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM); (2) current contractors affiliated with The New Economy Initiative and or the NEIdeas program; (3) current NEIdeas Jurors; (4) spouses and dependents of (a) employees and board members of NEI, Global Detroit, and CFSEM; (b) current contractors affiliated with the NEIdeas program; and (c) current NEIdeas Jurors; (5) employees of NEI grantee organizations; (6) NEIdeas Trustees and Ambassadors; and (7) past NEIdeas Winners are not eligible.