Growing knowledge-based jobs in ones and twos creates sustainable economies in the 21st century. Strategies that solely focus on seeking out large manufacturers and big box retailers overlook the positive impact that entrepreneurs and small businesses have on local communities.
Make your Case for Entrepreneurship
Start a conversation about promoting entrepreneurship in your community. Here are some talking points to share with neighbors, organizations and local government officials:
- Entrepreneurship is important to diversify local economies.
- Fostering entrepreneurship creates local jobs.
- Encouraging entrepreneurship activities can promote other development, especially in urban areas.
- Immigrants in Michigan were more than three times as likely as non-immigrants to start a new business between 1996 and 2007.
- In 2013, 35% of all new businesses in the U.S. were created by entrepreneurs over age 50.
- Miami attracted $300 million in venture capital in 2011.
A wide variety of resources on entrepreneurship are available on our Resources and Tools page.
The following case studies highlight the entrepreneurial spirit at work in communities across the state.
NEW! Argus Farm Stop (Ann Arbor)
Argus Farm Stop introduces a new model for farmers markets in a professional environment designed to help grow Ann Arbor’s local food ecosystem by connecting producers with consumers through a year-round neighborhood farmers market.
NEW! Build Your Business at TechBrewery (Ann Arbor)
TechBrewery provides a business incubator in a shared-desk space environment to a community of local technologists, entrepreneurs, and startups.
|The Starting Block Kitchen Incubator (Hart)
The Starting Block is a non-profit kitchen incubator that aims to help grow small businesses to eventually become long-term sustainable companies in the food systems and natural resources sector.
|Farmers Markets Help Revitalize Michigan Communities
Farmers markets are increasingly playing a vital role in Michigan’s economic growth while also providing residents with options for affordable and healthy food and related products.
|Crowdfunding – Tecumseh Brewing Company
Crowdfunding successfully matched a local entrepreneur with local investors to capitalize their new downtown business, directly impacting talent retention and downtown redevelopment.
|Downtown: The Heart & Soul of a Community (West Branch)
A group of business owners in West Branch brought together local officials and residents to start “Fabulous Fridays” throughout the summer to create a more fun, viable downtown.
Hatch aims to promote a more vibrant urban community by awarding money and empowering local entrepreneurs with the capital and support they need to succeed and grow.
|Mark’s Carts – Ann Arbor
Capitalizing on a growing national trend of food carts, Mark’s Carts brings people of all ages together by offering delicious local food and communal seating, which has generated energy and activity in an empty lot behind a garden store.
Subsidizing shared workspace, Ponyride provides cheap space for artists and entrepreneurs to work and share knowledge, resources, and networks.
Activating vacant storefronts with art installations and pop-up businesses, Revolve fosters entrepreneurship and vibrant, walkable areas.
|Rust Belt Market (Ferndale)
Rust Belt is a market featuring artists, collectors, local food products, musicians, and community events in a re-purposed big box commercial building. When selecting vendors to participate, the managers focus on quality local craftsmanship and potential for growth into standalone independent businesses.