The Detroit-based New Economy Initiative has announced grants totaling $33.25 million from ten local, regional, and national foundations to promote economic activity in southeast Michigan over the next three years.
Launched in 2008 as a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the initiative has worked to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the greater Detroit area. In addition to continuing that work, NEI will use the new funding to develop a network of service providers that help start and grow small businesses, support new ideas in the ecosystem and fill gaps that still exist, and raise awareness of its efforts throughout the region.
The grants include $5 million each from the Knight, Ford, Kresge, Kellogg, and William Davidson foundations. Additional grants include $2.5 million from the Hudson-Webber Foundation, $2 million from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, $1.5 million from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, $1.5 million from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, and $750,000 from the McGregor Fund.
Since its launch, NEI has awarded $76 million in grants, served more than 35,000 entrepreneurs, and helped create more than 675 companies and 8,000 jobs for the regional economy. It also has fostered the development of more than 700 patents and invention disclosures and exposed more than 250 business ventures to 80 local and national investors.
"By developing an infrastructure and culture that is supportive of the diverse community of entrepreneurs, we can change the face of our economic future for the better," said NEI executive director David Egner. "And at the same time, we're also helping to create a more diverse economy where jobs and prosperity are available for everyone."