On Monday, I attended an alumni cocktail hour. It was located in a small pub midtown. Walking through the doors, a mixture of scents conquered my senses. Having talked with the owner, I learned that she herself was an alum of Build. Her initiative, this niche bar, has become a popular gathering place for the locals, boasting almost a full house every single night. She was very grateful to Build, where she learned necessary business knowledge. During the night, I met other alumni who have established business or have an idea in mind. They were truly passionate about the work they were doing and very appreciated Build’s help.
In a time of limited employment opportunities and turbulent political environment, it is essential to being able to keep a job. Through our project of the impact report, we will be able to find out where our alumni are and how well they are doing. A great thing about starting a business is that no one is able to keep an initiative running themselves. By helping an entrepreneur start a project, we are also creating more employment opportunities for the locals. By collecting relevant data, we will be able to find out how much net economic impact Build is making in Detroit and surrounding regions. By making the case for Build, our report can attract more investors and partners to expand Build’s reach and program, making the way for more aspiring entrepreneurs to get the tools and knowledge they need.
At the same time, we are also creating the framework for an alumni association. Having a network is essential for people starting a business. Many alumni at Build do not have access to professionals. Having a pool of like-minded individuals to contact could help alumni further develop their ideas and form partnerships to combine resources to form a venture. Having an organized alumni association has always been on the calendar of Build, we are fortunate to be here to help facilitate the process.
I believe that our projects this summer would help expand Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through attracting more capital investment and connecting people. We do not have to install a monument to make a change in a city. Monuments get forgotten; only people's thoughts can truly revive them. Oftentimes, the most important and lasting changes are made within the people's mindset and forces that help shape a society’s way of life.