As small businesses struggle to survive during the pandemic, LaunchDETROIT has established an online Entrepreneur Marketplace to feature its small businesses owners. They include entrepreneurs who have participated in this multi-faceted program, that began in 2012 and is spearheaded by Rotary volunteers from Rotary District 6400.
“The Entrepreneur Marketplace provides a personal glimpse into the lives of our entrepreneurs along with information about their products and services with links to their websites and how to contact them,” said Margaret Williamson, chair of LaunchDETROIT. “They offer a wide variety of products and services including clothing, computer and consulting services, food, hospitality, health and wellness.”
In 2018, LaunchDETROIT expanded its program to create LaunchGLOBAL, the first group lending partnership in the United States. This pilot program was made possible by a Rotary International grant awarded to Detroit Rotarians.
Now entering its third year, the Rotary Clubs of Detroit, Taylor and Trenton, Michigan are sponsoring a program that includes free small business training provided by International Strategic Management (ISM) through Wayne State University, micro loans of up to $2,500 each, business mentoring by Rotarians and networking.
“Due to the interest we’ve received from area entrepreneurs in LaunchGLOBAL, we want to extend the opportunity for more to participate,” said Margaret Williamson, chair of the Rotary initiative. “Applications are now available online at www.LaunchDETROIT.org.”
According to Williamson, there is currently no deadline to apply as they explore best ways to offer training, mentoring and networking during the need for social distancing.
“In the meantime, we want to do all we can to support our entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneur Marketplace and utilize their services,” added Williamson.