Changing Detroit one entrepreneur at a time!

By Rotary International

A microloan from the program helped Willie Brake open a neighborhood computer store.

A microloan from the program helped Willie Brake open a neighborhood computer store.

By Lawrence Wright

The tagline above was one of the early lines we in Rotary District 6400 used during our LaunchDetroit open house events when we were telling our story to prospective applicants. Later, I remember thinking about that line and wondering if it was too much of a cliché.

Fast forward to today and I have become a true believer. This program, which we started in 2013 to provide microloans, training, and mentoring to those trying to start local businesses, has had that transformational effect on several budding entrepreneurs in Detroit.

I think of Willie Brake and his small computer business. He started in year one of our program and, after two years, opened his own retail store offering computers and computer services to customers in his neighborhood. The neighborhood had been without any local computer stores, since most had either moved to the suburbs or been replaced by big-box stores that sold computers.

I’ve enjoyed visiting with Willie and hearing the good things he’s accomplished so far, such as hiring young local techies to work in his store while he moves out into the community to promote his business. …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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