Detroit Entrepreneur Week to Highlight ‘Underground’ Businesses


tA collaborative of Detroit-based resource providers is set to host a four-day event aimed at connecting small business owners to available resources. The 2014 Detroit Entrepreneur Week — scheduled for Feb. 10-13 in Detroit — is specifically designed for businesses in operation for more than two years, says Robin Kinnie, chair of the event’s planning committee.

t“Our target audience is what we call ‘underground’ businesses,” Kinnie says. “They’re businesses that might be home-based or maybe aren’t licensed with the state of Michigan. This (event) will help them to become ‘above ground,’ maybe by participating in a co-working space or an incubator.

t“We want to help them move toward having their own storefront.”

tTo do that, the four-day event will bring in local experts to talk about topics ranging from the importance of joining a neighborhood association to business financials and taxes. So far, Kinnie says the opening day has been garnering the most interest from registrants.

t“On the first day, we’re going to have our ‘Mega Resource Panel,’ which is going to include representatives from organizations such as the Small Business Administration and ProsperUS Detroit,” Kinnie says. “We want to remove barriers for the existing small business owners who don’t have the time to go and meet one on one with these organizations.”

tNearly 80 different business owners have signed up for the event and Kinnie says the collaborative is already in discussion about hosting an event next year.

tFor more information about the event, to be held at the Focus: HOPE Center for Advanced Technologies, click here. There is no cost for admission.

tTo reserve a space at the closing reception, to be held Feb. 13 at the Judge Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights inside the Wayne State University Law School, email

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