News

    Lapel Bar: From running a family business to opening my own

    Think about it, it’s pretty safe to say that we as people have encountered someone that has said the words “I hate my job.” But typically, these same individuals that create these harsh statements rarely find themselves leaving this particular job of theirs until something pushes them over the boiling point. No, this is not an article about how I reached my boiling point. We can save that great story for another date and time. Today is about how I knew I’d become a business owner. Growing up with parents that were successful business owners themselves, it was difficult to...

    It Takes a Village: A case study of collaborative entrepreneurship in Detroit

      On the eastside of Detroit, minutes past the buzz of the city’s freshly developing urban sprawl, sits the quaint neighborhood of West Village. The streets are quieter – the loudest sounds those of saws grinding from renovation sites screeching, “The revitalization is here. It has taken root.” In the last few years, new storefronts have popped up in the neighborhood with increasing frequency among the community gardens and turn-of-the-century homes. With a handful of established shops in the neighborhood, doors all ready open, and several more set to open this year and next, it...

    Build hosts Duke Engage Fellowship interns

    We're so fortunate to work with Duke University hosting 2 summer interns, Liz and Ryan, as part of the Duke Engage Fellowship program. You can read about their experience living, working, and playing in Detroit here. Check out the interview Liz did with our executive director April Boyle here. Check out the interview Ryan did with our director of programs Jessica Meyer here.

    Build Institute Welcomes New Alumni Coordinator

    Build Institute, a program of Downtown Detroit Partnership, is proud to announce and welcome Nikki Pardo as alumni coordinator. Pardo will oversee the Build Next program, which is exclusively dedicated to Build graduates and provides support and resources they need to launch and grow. Build Next is a very important component to the success of the graduates as they continue to network, collaborate, learn, inspire and serve as catalysts to ensure their businesses flourish and thrive. “The Build community continues to grow with over 600 graduates in just 3 short years and we need to make sure our alumni feel...

    Three helpful tools for getting your business to the next level

    As an urbanist, I see entrepreneurs as the lifeblood of cities. They are what give cities their own unique identity and sense of vitality. And as an entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it can be to get your business going. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tricks that have helped take my work to the next level.  There’s a lot of advice out there for entrepreneurs, most of it bad, but I’ve found the tools below to be incredibly helpful.   1. Get Stuff Done Like a Boss This is my daily productivity system. It’s premised on the notion that...

    Etsy in Detroit using 3 #hashtags

    #Etsy In 2007 a friend introduced me to Etsy; I was hooked (and not only as a seller). Have you shopped on the site? Yesss honey! Independent designers. Local designers. Makers around the world. I could deliver a piece of Detroit near and far! I planned to hunker down, sell lots of jewelry, and be the boss! Yet, in all my excitement, it was at times overwhelming. If only Etsy could make learning to sell a bit simpler; offer a class maybe? We’ll get to that soon. Fast forward 8 years, a couple jobs, and 2 kids, I’m on my...

    Left-Handed Brand: From New York to Detroit and growing

    ​Left-Handed Branded creates custom clothing using sustainable fabrics and fashion accessories that are made from up-cycled materials such as 35 mm film. Our motto is "Make a big statement, leave a small carbon footprint!" Left-Handed Branded just cleared a year in Hamtramck after being in NYC for the past 6 years.  So much has happened in those 6 years in Detroit for small business.  I happened intoD:Hive my first month back in Detroit and found out about the Build Institute.   I started out going to Build Sponsored events like Open City and various lectures around town.  Every small business owner...

    So you want to be a localist? Three ways to up your game

    "Even though I had long preferred my local coffee shop to Starbucks, I hadn't heard the term "localist" before encountering BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), a network of people dedicated to "restoring community through local businesses." I attended their conference in Phoenix this year, where I had the opportunity to learn about the localist movement and listen to presentations by founders of pioneering social entrepreneurial companies like Community Sourced Capital and Dankso. I met community organizers focused on local food systems and economic empowerment and chatted with small business owners that understand they are a part of...

    Build in Fortune Magazine

    In June, Build had the honor of being featured in Fortune Magazine's article "The fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America" featuring our very own Build grad Danielle Smith of Detroit Maid. "The number of businesses owned by African American women grew 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S." Read more here.

    Lemonade Day + Public Allies: Youth Entrepreneurship Celebration

    Lemonade Day was a giant undertaking, especially for us Public Allies. I had just started my service working at Build, and jumped on board with their Team Service Project already planning the event. Let me take a moment to give the proper introduction to Public Allies. Public Allies is a national AmeriCorps program dedicated to young-adult leadership development and advancing new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation. This happens by placing Allies to work with local nonprofits for 9 months to build capacity and develop programming. Allies are also placed in a Team Service Project to plan events and develop programs...