As an organization focused on the “meaningful and equitable revitalization of Detroit”, TechTown put forth a concerted effort to aid small business recovery in an equitable manner, serving 1,731 entrepreneurial businesses during the one-year period between March 2020 and March 2021, 68% of which were run by Black or African American entrepreneurs. TechTown’s service during the height of the pandemic goes to show the organization’s unwavering commitment to pushing forward the economic development of Detroit in a manner that also works to dismantle the system that puts BIPOC communities at a large disadvantage.
My project this summer focuses on optimizing the employee onboarding process and other internal operations at TechTown, which is a process that has many downstream effects on all departments. Through the work that Rafa and I will conduct, our hope is that by establishing a standardized onboarding process that prevents the need for further assistance and streamlining submitting requests for assistance, TechTown will be able to focus its efforts on the well-being of the community of Detroit rather than internal matters. With our work, we hope that the Systems Innovation team will not have to spend their time and effort on tasks that could be more appropriately carried out by other teams. Additionally, we hope that through our investigations we can figure out how to leverage Wayne State’s resources so that TechTown does not divert its own money to materials that can be supplied by the university and can instead redirect those funds into the hands of Detroit’s entrepreneurs.
Although at a first glance it may seem like our project does not necessarily impact the company at large, I am excited to help work towards improving the manner in which TechTown operates so that it can continue working towards the mission it holds so deep to its heart. As demonstrated by their report from March 2020 – March 2021, TechTown is a company that has fought, and will continue to fight, for the equitable economic development of Detroit and I feel immensely appreciative for having the opportunity to help fight towards TechTown’s mission.