GREAT IDEAS START WITH BUILD
We help people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit. To date, we have graduated over 1800 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs from our classes, many of whom have gone on to start successful businesses in the city. In addition to classes, we offer networking events, mentorship, connections to resources and a nurturing community that allows ideas to develop and flourish over time. With a little support, a lot of hard work, and a friendly nudge, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Do you have an idea? Want to be your own boss? Dream of starting a business? Join us and get Building!
Build was started in January 2012 as a program of D:hive, a welcome center and resource hub located downtown. The classes, called Build Basics, are based on national standards for entrepreneurship education. The first class in Detroit was offered in the spring of 2012 and since then demand has grown tremendously. Classes are now offered every season and have expanded beyond the core curriculum to include Build Impact, Co.Starters, and Digital Marketing, with classes offered throughout the City of Detroit, Metro Detroit, and beyond.
We empower people to launch ideas and grow businesses by providing access to education, resources, and a supportive engaged community.
Detroit will be the global leader in equitable and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Regina Ann Campbell- President and CEO
Regina Ann Campbell is the President and CEO of Build Institute, the nonprofit idea incubator for the Detroit Region. Before joining Build Institute, Regina was the Chief Program Officer for Epicenter Memphis. Regina was responsible for national strategic partnerships and a portfolio of programs, initiatives, and systems that ensured inclusive access and vibrancy of the entrepreneurial community in the Greater Memphis region.
To date, Regina has led teams and initiatives that provided access to $21.4M+ in funding and resources for minority small business owners. As an economic development thought leader Regina has a successful track record of creating economic growth by scaling place-based acceleration and incubation, working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and assisting in the launch of multiple startups.
As a culture advocate, Regina champions entrepreneurship to drive economic empowerment for women and minorities; leverages shared cultural experiences to serve the “whole entrepreneur”; understands the ripple effect of entrepreneurship in urban/local communities; provides access to resources; revitalizes neighborhoods to create vibrant and thriving communities.
Regina is also a social entrepreneur as co-founder and president of 901 ROC Development, LLC.
Rachele Downs - Chief Operating Officer
A serial entrepreneur, Rachele is also the founder of Downs Diversity Initiatives, a community and economic development consultancy specializing in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in real estate, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. Previously, as Vice President of Entrepreneurial Strategies, Rachele led inGAGE, Inforum’s strategy to position Michigan as the Midwest hub for high-growth women entrepreneurs. Rachele is a commercial real estate broker with Dominion Real Estate Advisors and was the founding Program Manager for Wayne State University’s Detroit Revitalization Fellows, where she designed and directed this innovative pilot program to increase the capacity of organizations at the forefront of Detroit’s revitalization.
Passionate about strengthening community access to resources in economic development and educational preparedness, Rachele utilizes her skills, experience, and sphere of influence to help others realize their full potential through cultivating self-awareness, resilience, networks, and leadership development.
Downs holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and Community Development and a Master of Arts in Professional and School Counseling from Central Michigan University
Carol Adams, Executive Assistant
Carol Adams is a seasoned Executive Assistant with many years of progressive experience.
Carol has a background in the corporate world, but her heart is with the many non profit
organizations she has supported.
During her years with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, she made a huge impact with grantees in
the Northern High School district – collaborating with them to ensure they met their goals while
being a good steward of the Kellogg Foundation funds. Among her many accomplishments at
TechTown, she was responsible for slim lining the supply procurement process by researching
and building relationships with vendors and utilizing TechTown’s nonprofit status to offset some
of the costs, saving the organization thousands of dollars.
Besides the Kellogg Foundation and TechTown, Carol has supported high-level executives at
New Detroit, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Arthur Andersen, Accenture, and Children’s
Hospital of Michigan Foundation (The Children’s Foundation). Carol’s areas of expertise include
board and program support, strategic planning, developing and implementing processes and
procedures, team building, and event and conference planning.
Carol has an associate degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is a
member of the New Temple of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Eastern Stars – Stars of Adah,
Chapter 125, and Mothers of Murdered Children. Carol resides in the city of Detroit and has
three children and six grandchildren.
Yolanda Curry - Director of Education
Yolanda is passionate about helping entrepreneurs to think strategically in their business planning, as well as exposing youth to business ownership. She is leveraging 13+ years of entrepreneurship and small business education at Build Institute. She is also a proud Build grad and owner of thedjewelry.com which is featured at local boutiques such as Flo Boutique and All Things Marketplace. Yolanda has facilitated Build Facilitator Training as well as Build business planning courses. She earned dual degrees in Industrial and Jewelry Design at the University of Michigan in 2001, and for many years, taught youth art classes at non-profit organizations and metro Detroit schools. She also sits on the University Liggett School Alumni Board of Governors, as well as a former board member at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School. Yolanda loves traveling, biking, gardening, and reading with her two very energetic children.
Jordan Yagiela - Special Projects Coordinator
Jordan Yagiela has been spearheading philanthropic endeavors in the city of Detroit since she was 18. She believes in the powerful role that small business has in sustainably revitalizing neighborhoods. She believes building real relationships is the key to success to ensure that all residents are a part of redevelopment. Jordan is a proud graduate of Michigan State University. Post graduation, she worked as the Director of Development for PEAC (Programs to Educate All Cyclists) and as a Coordinator of Signature Events with the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Leadership Detroit program. Jordan is the Executive Director of NW Goldberg Cares, a nonprofit aiming to improve upon the lives of residents of Detroit’s NW Goldberg Neighborhood through business, community, and family. She can often be found growing internationally famous zucchinis or attempting to find the best waffle cone in Southeast Michigan.
Ernestine Lyons - Economic and Community Development Director
Ernestine Lyons has a Master’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Wayne State University. Ernestine has lived and studied all over the world examining sustainability, analyzing emerging markets and developing economies. During her career as a civil servant, she focused on creating systems to strengthen small business development and encouraging inclusivity and opportunity with municipal governments. Ernestine is a Build Graduate and founder of Linglobal. Linglobal’s mission is to create global citizens by encouraging international travel, learning foreign languages. She also coordinates the Harper Woods Soup. Lyons is excited to lend her experience in entrepreneurship and economic development to the mission to take the successful Build Institute formula of cultivating innovators nationally and internationally.
Scott Stewart - Development Director
Scott Stewart is passionate and committed to ensuring that all individuals have access to opportunities, particularly by advancing equitable solutions and fighting to eliminate systemic barriers to social issues. To act on his passion, he focuses his efforts on working across sectors to address issues through public-private partnerships and collaboration, especially with creating strategies for nonprofits to grow effectively. Scott has over seven years of dedicated experience working with nonprofits and social issues focused on health and wellness, education, LGBTQ+ rights, sexual violence, etc., including his current role as the Chairperson on the Board of Directors of Wayne County SAFE, a board member of Break Away, and the founder of Pontiac SOUP. Scott has his Master of Public Administration from Wayne State University and his Bachelor’s of Applied Arts in Integrative Public Relations from Central Michigan University.
Downtown Detroit Partnership
Detroit Development Fund
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Fifth Third Bank
MSU Product Center
Wayne State Law Clinic
& countless other community professionals.