NEI Awards $300,000 in Grants to 30 Small Businesses



Thirty small businesses from across Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park each received $10,000 awards on November 2 from the second annual “NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth” challenge.

New Economy Initiative (NEI), a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), launched NEIdeas in May 2014 to celebrate existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park and reward those with the best ideas for business growth.

This was the second year of the two-tiered challenge which has given over $1 million in cash rewards and was open to small businesses at least three years or older. The two types of awards included: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $750,000 annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $750,000 and $5 million annually. The $100k challenge winners will be announced in December.

NEIdeas was operated in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC participated in the jury process and lead an outreach program that featured more than two dozen “Ambassador” organizations and institutions throughout all three cities, providing small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process.

“Over the past two years, NEIdeas has given us the opportunity to connect with more than 1,100 small businesses in the city,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “NEIdeas, with its focus on existing businesses is a critical piece of Detroit’s small business support system. This system is essential in helping every Detroiter participate in our economic expansion.”

Spencer Olinek
Strategic Partnerships Manager

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