What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Founded in 2010, I Am Young Detroit is already among the city’s most successful engagement platforms: it has mobilized an impressive social network that constitutes 1,000 daily website visitors, 8,00 Twitter followers, 8,000 e-mail subscribers, and 4,000 Facebook fans who support 100 young do-ers. Many of the connections informally made have already resulted in recognition, connection, and support for young innovators.For example Mashawnta Armstrong, founder of MASH Magazine, hired four freelance creatives, was asked to sit on a panel at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, was sought out and accepted into the Detroit Creative Corridor’s Business Accelerator, and was featured in the American Black Journal, Michigan Daily, and WDIV CHannel 4 all as a result of being profiled on I Am Young Detroit. Tunde Wey of Detroit’s Big F Deal, was asked to participate in a paid opportunity to work on a national anti-menthol smoking ideation session with creatives from across the country.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Over two years, this initiative will help 5,000 Detroiters of all ages support 500 young entrepreneurs in the city through CitySpotters, I Am Young Detroit, and a micro-grant/fellowship program in development.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
It will be challenging to ensure those recognized are increasingly connected with one another and the broader community, to overcome that we'll do the following: (1) use our online social media competencies to connect do-ers with one another; (2) showcase those recognized online and offline across the city so the public - including students in the city - are able to pledge support as fellows, funders, mentors, marketers, consumers, advisors, and more; and (3) bring young entrepreneurs and their supporters together constantly through meet-ups, conferences, and more.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone