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Navigate, elevate and thrive: Third annual Detroit Small Business Summit offers free resources and grant opportunities for Motor City entrepreneurs

Apr 22, 2024

DETROIT — Detroit Means Business (DMB), a resource-focused subsidiary of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), will host its third annual Small Business Summit on Monday, May 6, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. at the Cambria Hotel. The summit, themed “Navigate and Elevate,” will bring together over 300 Detroit small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking tangible skills, knowledge and resources to build and scale their ventures through interactive workshops and valuable networking.

This year’s theme reflects DMB’s commitment to help small business owners make informed choices, find the right paths and leverage local resources to succeed. It also complements several technology-based initiatives DMB plans to unveil at this year’s summit, designed to help businesses flourish and scale to new heights.

“We are excited to offer this free event to Detroit business owners that is well worth their time,” said Detroit Means Business President Dr. Marlo Rencher. “Entrepreneurs are key to building a better Detroit. The summit is where they can access abundant resources and organizations dedicated to helping Detroit businesses grow, benefiting them and the greater community.”

Participants will learn from various experts, many with Detroit roots. Guest speakers this year include Jacqueline Baker, an entrepreneur, author, and connoisseur of hosting and entertaining guests, and Founder and Principal Consultant of Scarlet Communications, and Johnnie and Alexa Turnage, founders of Black Tech Saturdays, an impactful community fostering innovation and imagination to support the growth of Black tech.

The summit will feature pitch competitions and raffles, offering Detroit-based businesses the chance to win grants from event partners Techtown Detroit, Good Food Fund and Black Leaders Detroit. Participants must enter on-site at the event to be eligible.

In addition, the summit will feature DMB’s signature webinar series, DMB Live!, as an in-person panel, two keynote presentations, workshops and resource opportunities covering topics such as funding and financial readiness, contracting and procurement, digital operations, business operations and city and state regulatory processes.

“The collaboration and partnership that it takes to host an annual resource event to this magnitude speaks volumes to the level of support available to small business owners in Detroit,” said DMB Outreach Director Tenecia Johnson. “Over 100 business-serving organizations, funders, community leaders and various stakeholders have all aligned to ensure that the opportunities for your business are real, tangible and accessible. If you are considering starting a business or have been in operation for years and are looking for ways to scale, this is the event to help you do so.”

Registration for the free summit is now open, with limited capacity. To learn more, visit As a coalition of over 60 public, private, and philanthropic leaders, Detroit-based nonprofit Business Support Organizations, and civic-minded business owners, DMB champions the success of small businesses and entrepreneurs in Detroit.

About Detroit Means Business:

Detroit Means Business (DMB), a subsidiary of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), is a coalition of business support organizations and government agencies that was established to help champion the success of small businesses and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan. The coalition’s primary objective is to provide small business owners with the resources and support they need to survive and thrive in Detroit’s economy. This includes access to financing, training, technical assistance and other resources. Together, DMB and DEGC collaborate on resource-sharing, networking events, policy advocacy, targeted initiatives, and data analysis to enhance their collective impact and empower the growth and success of Detroit’s small business community.

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