Two Detroit businesses, Detroit Training Center, a workforce training center, and Louisiana Creole Gumbo, a restaurant and caterer, were the big winners of $100,000 each in the NEIdeas challenge announced last month.
Thirty other businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park received $10,000 each as part of the NEIdeas competition. All the more than 640 businesses that applied will receive technical assistance to help grow their businesses. A complete list of winners can be found on the NEIdeas website.
Detroit Training Center will use its funds to expand its commercial driver license certification program by purchasing new tractor-trailers for student test-driving and increase marketing of the program. Louisiana Creole Gumbo will buy mobile food trucks with built-in hot and cold facilities to serve customers across Detroit.
Of this year’s winners, 75 percent are minority owned and nearly 60 percent are women owned. The winning businesses range in age from three to 94 years old and operate in fields as varied as construction, education, farming, food, manufacturing, retail, service, technology and transportation.
NEIdeas operates in partnership with DEGC, which participated in the jury process and led an outreach program providing small businesses with information and guidance in the application process.
“Over the past three years, NEIdeas has given us the opportunity to connect with more than 1,700 small businesses in the city,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president and CEO, DEGC. “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.”
The New Economy Initiative (NEI) is a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM). NEI is one of the largest economic development initiatives of its kind working to build a network of support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The mission of NEI is to create an inclusive, innovative, and regional culture by reawakening and leveraging Detroit’s creative entrepreneurial drive. NEI receives funds from 12 foundations, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Vice President of Small Business Services