Small business owners invited

Small business owners are often overlooked for aspiring entrepreneurs. Why? It is assumed that they need more assistance and it’s easier to teach someone how to build a business plan than to identify why an existing business is not reaching monthly sales goals. In an effort to connect existing small business owners to available resources, a collaborative of resource providers has announced the 2014 “Detroit Entrepreneur Week”, scheduled for Feb. 10-13 at Focus: HOPE Center for Advanced Technologies, 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit.

The Detroit Entrepreneur Week is a four-day, no-cost conference created to promote business growth and entrepreneurship in the city of Detroit. This event is specifically designed for businesses in operation for more than two years. Topics for engaging sessions, led by local influencers, range from leveraging city departments to why joining a neighborhood business association is important.

Detroit Entrepreneur Week is designed for businesses poised for growth with the intent of creating jobs. According to U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses create 64 percent of new private-sector jobs. Additionally, 52 percent of small businesses are home-based and only half of all new businesses survive five years or more with 1/3 surviving the first 10 years.

Sponsors and Participating Organizations currently include Center For Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED),TechTown Detroit, SCORE Detroit, ProsperUS Detroit and Wayne State University Law School Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law (PEBL).

The event is not just for small business owners. Community organizations looking to attract small businesses to their area also are welcome to attend. The keynote address during the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 10, sponsored by CEED and the Chase Foundation, will be given by a representative from the city of Detroit Mayor's Office. The Closing Reception, sponsored by Wayne State University Law School Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law and TechTown Detroit, will be held on Feb. 13, from 4-6 p.m., at the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, 471 W. Palmer, Detroit. RSVP is required at

Session Topics at a glance:  

  • Leveraging City of Detroit departments
  • Key legal documents every business should have
  • Real estate law
  • Why you should join a neighborhood business association
  • Resources for food industry businesses
  • Financial statements and taxes made simple

“There are numerous resources and events for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Robin Kinnie, business development manager, CEED and chair of the Detroit Entrepreneur Week planning committee. “We want to be part of the growth strategy for those businesses who are home-based, have hit a plateau or simply aren't aware of resources available for businesses already in operation.”

Additional Statements of Support

“As a program, we are very supportive of neighborhood-based entrepreneur networks. This is a wonderful example of a way to integrate entrepreneurial support within neighborhood development.” Kim Faison, Director, ProsperUS Detroit
“Navigating Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can be a bit daunting for a busy entrepreneur,” said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “As a partner in Detroit Entrepreneur Week, we see a clear need to remove hurdles and connect entrepreneurs with our robust network of support resources. In many cases, this is the first step down the path to sustainable growth.”
“Small businesses have the potential to bring significant employment opportunities into southeast Michigan, yet many businesses fail within the first five years of operation. That’s why we are pleased to host this conference and bring together a range of resources to help entrepreneurs strengthen their fledgling businesses for long-term success,” said William F. Jones, Jr., CEO of Focus: HOPE.
“Having worked with CEED and TechTown Detroit and other organizations over the last several years, Wayne State University Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law is honored to support another opportunity to build entrepreneurship within the community.” Eric C. Williams, Director of the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law and Assistant Professor, Wayne State University Law School.
Additional workshops and speakers are still being scheduled. Keep up with the latest information and follow the event live by using @MICEED #DEW14. For more information on Detroit Entrepreneur Week, visit

Entrepreneur Week

The conference runs from February 10 to the 13th at the Focus: HOPE Conference Center.