Entrepreneurship | June 5, 2017

The role of small business in Detroit’s resurgence

The team at


City-level entrepreneurship development efforts are helping revitalize Detroit and rebuild national investor confidence in the city (see the latest findings from the Motor City-based Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Reinvestment Index).

An event last month at the The Brookings Institution explored the role of entrepreneurship in Detroit and its application to building inclusive economies in other Rustbelt cities.

Five takeaways:

1)Small businesses provide benefits to neighborhood economies like jobs for residents without a car;

2) Small businesses are pathways to opportunity and wealth for a broad cross-section of residents;

3) Cities need to support small business with ecosystems that include cutting red tape, connections to experts and office or production space;

4) Alongside small businesses, cities must also invest in innovative, tradable growth industries with multiplier effects;

5) Philanthropy can play a role in pooling capital and financing startup ecosystems. See:

Knight and Ford foundations commit $2.5 million to Detroit neighborhoods