Hatch Detroit, a popular local business plan competition, to help entrepreneurs in neighborhoods outside of the downtown-Midtown area.
“I believe entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit are critical to the next generation of our city, what we’re becoming, and how we come back,” says Lions president Tom Lewand. “I’ve been in Detroit almost all my life, and we’ve evolved every time there’s a setback. This time is distinctively different—there’s a new generation that wants to build businesses here.”
Hatch will work with retail entrepreneurs in six neighborhoods: Southwest Detroit, the North End, the Villages, Grandmont Rosedale, East Jefferson, and Livernois between 7 and 8 Mile. Hatch executive director Vittoria Katanski says the Lions approached her organization after hearing about the community response to its online business competition. Hatch was already working with community development groups to support entrepreneurs in the six neighborhoods, but the investment from the Lions will allow Hatch to go in and help business owners with things like building improvements, new signage, a window display, or a better website. “These are savvy business owners,” Katanski explains. “There are lots of incredible established businesses that may have been forgotten or may need a shot in the arm.”
Katanski says Hatch selected the six neighborhoods because they either see retail overflow from downtown and Midtown, or they have a strong residential base. Lewand says that the Lions have initially pledged $500,000 to strengthen entrepreneurs, though that number may grow. “We’re only limited by our ideas,” he adds.
Click HERE to read the full article on Xcomony!