For Summer 2021, my partner Evan and I are working with ProsperUS Detroit, a place-based social enterprise focused on economic development in Detroit through educating, sustaining, and inspiring local entrepreneurs and small businesses in Detroit and surrounding neighborhoods. ProsperUS Detroit offers three main programs: (1) Entrepreneur Training, (2) Business Services, and (3) Microlending. The Entrepreneur Training Program enables participants to realize their potential to become business owners and not only become more self-reliant, but also contribute to the Detroit community. The Business Services Program offers professional assistance in a variety of business areas to help startups grow, expand, and flourish. And finally the micro-lending program gives start-ups and small businesses capital, supporting local entrepreneurs to help the local economy and inspire the community. ProsperUS Detroit helps serve the Detroit community far beyond just throwing money into a neighborhood economy. They help support individuals with the education, tools, and means to make their own impact in their own community. ProsperUS and the graduates of their programs not only work to stabilize the Detroit economy, but inspire the local community as they do it.
This summer, Evan and I have taken part and helped with a few projects for the Programming Team and plan to work with the Lending Team in the coming weeks for ProsperUS Detroit. One project that we are completing is creating a Community Resource Guide filled with resources to help entrepreneurs and their families. We utilized the resources ProsperUS had already put together, researched new additional services, and compiled all of this information into one comprehensive Community Resource Guide filled with resources for everything from how to create cash flow statements, to where to get your next meal for free, to law offices that will help support you for immigration trials, all easily accessible for Detroiters. Information is key and this project will make information more readily available and easily accessible. Another project we have been working on is a “storytelling project” where we will conduct in-depth interviews with some ProsperUS program graduates and write highlight stories to be featured on the ProsperUS webpage. Through this project we hope to identify strengths and weaknesses in ProsperUS’s programs to support ProsperUS’s growth in helping more individuals of the Detroit community and to inspire the local community with the highlighted stories. This project will visually show the very real and practical impact of the program and inspire others to follow these and other paths when they see the proof of these success stories. We are really looking forward to the weeks and projects to come and continuing to make an impact at ProsperUS and in the greater Detroit community.