4 Funding Sources For Startups, Established Businesses in Michigan

I recently attended a meeting of the Brightmoor Alliance, a community-development nonprofit, where members of the northwest Detroit neighborhood it serves learned about four new or little-known sources of financing for business startups in Detroit or across Michigan.

Since finding money for startup or early stage businesses is always an issue, and more so during a tough economy, I thought it might be useful to budding entrepreneurs to list them here:

  1. insYght — A service of the nonprofit Matching Opportunities and Resources for Entrepreneurs, this free online clearinghouse system matches people and their ideas for starting or growing a business to support resources and people who can help. By answering an online questionnaire, users create a profile that connects them to industry-specific people who can help find funding opportunities or consulting services. “It’s really about intelligently pairing the entrepreneurs, the innovators with the business support organization that is intended to support them and has the resources that they’re looking for,” Ken Agacinski, executive director of the MORE program, recently told WDET-FM. You can also read more about it in Crain’s Detroit Business.
  2. CEED — The Ann Arbor-based Center for Empowerment and Economic Development provides business development training, supplier certification, business-to-business networking and capital-assistance programs to women- and minority-owned businesses in Michigan. Among their programs are microloan programs from $5,000 to $35,000 for small businesses in Detroit and eight counties that extend loans to businesses that can’t access credit through conventional sources.
  3. Hatch Detroit — This contest offers a grand prize of $50,000 and a suite of free professional services to the person or team who submits the best retail business idea for the city of Detroit. Hatch will pick the top 10 or 12 ideas and post them on their website, where the public will vote on a final four and later determine a winner. The contest is open to any retail enterprise proposed in the city of Detroit. The deadline for entry is Sept. 1. Listen to an interview that Hatch gave to WDET here.
  4. Kiva Detroit — Kiva is an international organization that uses microlending to alleviate poverty by providing loans to people deemed too poor or too risky for traditional lines of credit. Kiva recently launched a Detroit version, matched by the Knight Foundation, worth $500,000. That amount has already sold out, which seems a testament to the program’s success as the first Kiva City in the United States and may be a sign that another round of lending is coming. Check out the short video below for how the program works:

How Kiva Works from Kiva Microfunds on Vimeo.

How Kiva Works from Kiva Microfunds on Vimeo.

What business funding resources did I miss?

Photo by Conlawprof.


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