DETROIT, Mich. (June 24, 2019) – In 2018, Rotary International awarded a grant to Detroit Rotarians to pilot the first group lending partnerships in the United States. Called LaunchGLOBAL, this multi-faceted program was spearheaded by Rotary volunteers from Rotary District 6400, who initiated LaunchDETROIT in 2013.

Now in the pilot’s second year, the Rotary Clubs of Detroit, Taylor and Trenton, Michigan are sponsoring a total of 13 area entrepreneurs in 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 in LaunchGLOBAL from area entrepreneurs, we want to extend the opportunity for more to participate,” said Margaret Williamson, chair of the Rotary initiative. 

According to Williamson, applications are now available online at The deadline for entrepreneurs to apply is July 31, 2019. Qualifying applicants will be notified and interviewed during the week of August 19, 2019.

Selected entrepreneurs are required to complete five business classes scheduled to begin in mid-September. Following the classes, entrepreneurs join lending groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss their businesses and receive additional business training. Mentors are on-hand to discuss challenges and address business questions.

“The goal is to create an atmosphere for entrepreneurs to receive continual training and business support as a group and with the resources available through the network of Rotary Clubs. This includes valuable support from Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise and Rotary District 7070 in Canada,” said Williamson.

“This Detroit program has become a beacon for Rotary and is being modeled in cities across the U.S. and worldwide,” said Jim Louttit, chair and president of the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development as well as PDG of Rotary District 7070. “We are proud to be part of this effort in shining a light on Detroit.”

LaunchGLOBAL strategic partners include ISM, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, the Rotary Clubs of Detroit, Taylor, Trenton and Toronto, and Level One Bank.  For more information about LaunchGLOBAL, visit or email