How We Opened Doors To Opportunity Last Week

On Thursday May 3 Global Detroit held a workshop attended by over 60 local residents who came to learn about starting and growing a small business in the Banglatown community straddling Detroit and Hamtramck. A similar event held last fall resulted in three attendees receiving character-based small business loans through ProsperUS Detroit, one of our partners. We often find that one of the biggest barriers to immigrants succeeding in business is just knowing what support and opportunities exist to help. Global Detroit is constantly working to break down that barrier.

Joel Auer of the U.S. Small Business Administration said at the event, “the economic engine of the United States is small business.” Our director, Steve Tobocman, added that immigrant small business owners, as well as African-American small business owners play a critical role in revitalizing urban neighborhoods, but too often such business owners didn’t have access or were unaware of the regional entrepreneurship support offerings.

At the event we heard from Ameen, a CPA currently growing his business in the Hamtramck area after founding his own firm six years ago. “The issue for a lot of people is lack of knowledge. I had to learn a lot about advertising before I could grow and now I really want to help others.” Ameen says that business is now thriving at Hamtramck Bookkeeping & Tax Services, Inc.

The event enabled the packed crowd to hear from several speakers and to meet several service providers whose organizations provide free advice, technical assistance, and character-based loans to small businesses start and grow. We’re particularly thankful to YALA for hosting and Hamtramck Bookkeeping & Tax Services for sponsoring the food. Our presenters included Detroit SCORE, US Small Business Administration, Langnas & Associates, Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, ProsperUS Detroit and Detroit Development Fund.

Over the next few weeks we’ll continue our work to keep opening doors to opportunity by canvassing local small businesses owned by immigrants and engaging them to apply for a grant through NEIDeas, a program that awards small businesses $10,000 grants to grow. (Applications are due June 1). If you’d like more information on supporting a future small business event, or donating to help us keep doors to opportunity opened, please contact Muhit.



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