Purpose of NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth

NEIdeas is intended to support existing businesses in a way that will maintain and strengthen them in the cities and the neighborhoods that need them most. The program provides an opportunity to connect small businesses to both investment and resources. In doing so, NEIdeas will help to sustain businesses, strengthen neighborhoods, diversify economies, and grow jobs for residents in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.1

In addition to supporting businesses, NEIdeas strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem – the current network of service providers that help small businesses grow. NEIdeas recognizes gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. These gaps are (1) that many existing business owners are not aware of the business support resources available to them; and (2) that existing businesses may not feel welcomed and included in the broader entrepreneurial activity of the city. NEIdeas addresses these gaps by engaging service providers throughout the duration of the program. This strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which in turn attracts, services, and grows businesses and jobs for residents of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

NEIdeas works to promote economic development activities and, ultimately, the creation of jobs through several distinct but related goals: (1) engage existing neighborhood businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park, and connect them to available resources; (2) continue to fill the pipeline for business service providers; (3) further connect and deepen relationships among services providers to strengthen network behaviors; and (4) generate energy and interest in entrepreneurship in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

NEIdeas is a program of the New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), operated with assistance from Global Detroit and other community partners.

1 CFSEM is committed to the economic revitalization of distressed areas and the combating of poverty through the creation of jobs for unemployed and underemployed populations in Southeast Michigan. The NEIdeas program specifically targets economic development activities in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.