Our core 8-week business and project planning class is designed for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Classes are taught by local experts and cover all the basics of starting a business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. You’ll leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs in Detroit, and the knowledge and confidence to take your idea to the next level.



Our curriculum is learner-centered, hands-on and activity based, so you’ll be doing as much as you’ll be listening. At the start of every session, we provide you with a BUILD binder that includes lessons, resources and a sample business plan for you to fill out as we go.

Class topics include:

Money Management & Life Skills

Legal Structures, Licensing & Personal Budget
Personal Credit, Start-up Costs & Overhead
Sales Unit & Break Even Point
Sales and Profit Goals & Cash Flow
Target Markets, Market Research & Mission
Research, Competition, Pricing & Goals
Financing Sources & Loan Process

What to expect during the course:

Courses are facilitated by experienced entrepreneurs who provide resources and necessary tools and are available to answer questions regarding your business plan during 1:1 sessions. Cohorts consist of 12-16 participants, bringing a diverse range of business and project ideas. Participants are at varying degrees of business development and best efforts are made to meet everyone where they are. Expect to spend at least 3 hours each week outside of class working on your business plan, doing market research, creating projections, etc. Class time is spent on the curriculum provided. Subject matter experts also attend several sessions to speak in depth on specific topics. Given a participant completes all necessary work, one should expect to finish the class with a solid business plan (BUILD Institute does not write business plans).

Guest Speakers:

A large part of our curriculum includes guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds sharing their real world expertise and insight with our Builders. Below are some examples of previous speakers who have participated in our classes.

Carlotta Tutt Holloway – Principal Owner at True Root Marketing
Lisa Wilmore – President and CEO of the Wilmore Agency
LaShonda Cooley – Principal Accountant at LLC Consulting

Why BUILD Basics?

We strive to provide a nurturing environment for Builders both during and after they graduate from our classes. From ongoing educational workshops to alumni networking events, we know that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Read testimonials from graduates about why they loved taking a BUILD class! We hope you’ll take the time to explore our recommended online resources and check out what we offer to our graduates below. Ongoing workshops in partnership with local entrepreneurial support organizations Marketing through BUILD Grad Profiles, social media, and newsletters Open City monthly networking events BUILD Bazaar pop-up marketplace for BUILD Alumni Engagement Events + Active Alumni FB Group Access to Kiva advisor

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Valued at over $1000, our BUILD Basics class could easily carry a very hefty price tag. However, as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of neighborhood entrepreneurs, we make our programming as accessible as possible. BUILD Institute is “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs” and we practice what we preach as we continue to innovate our model.