One method to reduce economic inequality is through greater entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities. The growth of local enterprises helps strengthen the local economy, provide more jobs to community members, and create more opportunities. An entrepreneur may be able to not only lift themselves out of poverty, but also give back to their community by paying employees a livable wage. Thus, entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities can help reduce economic inequality. However, lack of access to resources and support can create significant obstacles for entrepreneurs in Detroit’s disadvantaged communities. This is where TechTown steps in, providing training and advice to empower prospective entrepreneurs and to help them grow their business.
My work at TechTown is to create a comprehensive evaluation of their major entrepreneurship programs and to give recommendations on how TT can improve their alumni engagement. Improving TT’s alumni engagement will help TT build a strong community of entrepreneurs in Detroit who are dedicated to supporting one another and staying involved with TT events. My work will also help TT reevaluate their flagship programs to ensure that they are still meeting the needs of the community. Because the challenges communities face are constantly changing and evolving, it is very important for community organizations like TT to continuously evaluate and revamp their entrepreneurship support programs. Otherwise, these major programs may become ineffective and out-of-touch with the community it is supposed to serve.
Detroiters are the closest to their own problems, so empowering them to pursue solutions through entrepreneurship can not only help reduce economic inequality, but also promote equitable and sustainable social impact. As such, my project with TT is significant to me because I am truly passionate about solving economic inequality through equitable, community-based approaches. I hope my experience in Detroit this summer will allow me to gain the knowledge and skills to continue pursuing my passion in the future.