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Motor City Match Winner Youthnique supports entrepreneurs’ well-being while opening new doors

Mar 5, 2024

  • Youthnique was awarded $50,000 through Motor City Match, primarily allocated for the buildout and design of the innovative consulting space
  • The start-up center, led by Detroit native Torri Hicks, focuses on business development with a youthful approach, providing specialized services to entrepreneurs
  • Youthnique is the 166th Motor City Match business to open

MARCH 5, 2023 (DETROIT) — Detroit welcomes a groundbreaking addition to its business landscape with the grand opening of Youthnique, a consulting firm for entrepreneurs located on the Historic Avenue of Fashion. Torri Hicks, the founder of Youthnique, was joined by Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, City dignitaries and community supporters for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the establishment, marking the 166th Motor City Match business to open its doors in Detroit.

The consulting firm specializes in offering services for entrepreneurs interested in opening a nonprofit or start-up and supporting them with a “youthful approach” to help alleviate the stressors entrepreneurs encounter. Services offered include grant writing, business planning, fund development, business development and more.

“As you evolve, you should always have a youthful approach to starting new things,” said Hicks.

Hicks, a Detroit native, never imagined she would return to her home state after spending over a decade living in Atlanta. However, when her grandfather needed care, she moved back to Michigan. Upon her return, she noticed the revitalization taking shape along Livernois Avenue. Feeling drawn to participate, she decided to settle in the neighborhood and revive her consulting business in Detroit.

“Motor City Match is proud to support Torri, as she works to provide a much-needed service to guide small business owners through the unique challenges they may face,” said Mayor Mike Duggan prior to today’s ribbon cutting. “Ten years ago, this stretch of Livernois was full of vacant storefronts. Like Torri, Motor City Match sees the potential in Detroit’s entrepreneurial talent, and I’m proud to say there are not one or two, but eight Motor City Match winners open for business here along Livernois.”

Youthnique fosters entrepreneurial creativity and collaboration in its vibrant “start-up center.” Between brainstorming sessions, entrepreneurs can recharge with arcade classics like “Pac-Man” and “NBA Jam” or rally a quick ping-pong match. As the National Institute of Mental Health notes, 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental illness in comparison to 48% of non-entrepreneurs. These lighthearted, engaging activities promote camaraderie and alleviate stress, bringing balance to the exhilarating but often intensive process of getting a new business off the ground.

Hicks envisions integrating clinical support to help entrepreneurs manage the challenges associated with their ambitious goals. Drawing from her own experiences, including her background as a therapist for teens, her personal struggles with anxiety and the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide, she brings a wealth of insight to this work.

“I’ve experienced the importance of mental health from all levels so I know the importance of addressing it,” said Hicks. “I can write a book about entrepreneurship rollercoasters. One minute, you’re flying high, and the next moment you’re on your knees like, God help me. As an entrepreneur, you need support to be able to manage.”

The business, located at 19456 Livernois, received a $50,000 grant from Motor City Match, which assisted with the buildout and design of the innovative space. The establishment also received a more than $100,000 loan from CDC Small Business Finance to support its operations. With the grand opening complete, Youthnique is now accepting new clients and has taken another step forward in being a catalyst for entrepreneurial success in Detroit.

“Torri’s dedication to uplifting Detroit’s entrepreneurial community is commendable,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which manages the Motor City Match program. “Youthnique’s approach aligns perfectly with the goals of Motor City Match—to foster business growth and create a strong economic landscape in Detroit. We’re proud to have supported Youthnique on this journey.”

“We are proud to work with Torri and help a Detroit native as she expands her business,” said Jennifer Moon, a Detroit-based loan officer for CDC Small Business Finance, a nonprofit mission-driven lender that is part of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations. “Youthnique brings an invaluable service of support to the ecosystem of entrepreneurship, assisting other small businesses and nonprofits whose work will in turn benefit the Detroit community.”

Through 25 rounds of Motor City Match:

  • Total cash grants: $15.7 million (Total leveraged investment: $87.4 million)
  • 81 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 71 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 68 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents

About Motor City Match
Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at

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