Graduates Make $300K Impact on Detroit’s Economy, Double Workforce

Second Year of Creative Ventures Program Commences in July with Seven Creative Entrepreneurs

DETROIT – The inaugural class of the Creative Ventures program, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center’s year-long business development program for creative sector entrepreneurs, will mark a more than $300,000 economic impact for Detroit when their training ends on June 28.

Seventeen creative entrepreneurs, including interior designers, fashion designers, and filmmakers, were the first participants in the program which teaches business plan development, marketing strategies, sales implementation, and project management support. In addition to growing Detroit’s economy through attaining new business, collectively, the ventures added new jobs to Detroit’s creative sector by more than doubling their workforce.

“What was initially a pilot program to support our region’s efforts to grow Detroit’s creative class has now become a national model and success story,” said Matthew Clayson, DC3 director. ““Research consistently demonstrates that the creative economy has high growth potential, both in number of jobs and success of individual careers. The DC3’s mission is to offer creative entrepreneurs in Detroit a platform and catalyst to accelerate these statistics for our region.”

According to AngelouEconomics’ Creative Cluster Regional Assessment, the creative economy employs 30,000 people in Metro Detroit, who make more than 50 percent of the 2006 U.S. average wage. Globally, the annual growth of creative sector industries is twice that of service industries and four times that of manufacturing industries. 

Patrick Thompson, owner of Patrick Thompson Design and a graduate of the first class of Creative Ventures said, “The value of my experience with the Creative Ventures program was twofold; it helped focus the scope of my business strategies while introducing my services to major commercial clients, who I may not have had the opportunity to meet without leveraging my involvement with the DC3. Through this experience, my revenue grew by 300 percent and I was able to hire three employees to accommodate more work.”

The second year of the DC3’s Creative Ventures program begins on July 9, for which seven creative entrepreneurs were selected out of a pool of 32 applications. The selection was made by a committee of DC3 leadership and partners, who assessed the applications based on the businesses’ concepts, opportunities for growth, the experience of the owners, and their dedication to growing their businesses in Detroit.

During the first phase of the training, from July to December, the ventures will be mentored through the process of sharpening their business model, refining their business concept, and devising a growth strategy. Phase two begins in January 2013, and brings the ventures through sales and investment strategy, marketing tactics and creating efficiencies.

The Creative Ventures program is subsidized for the participants as a result of generous support from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additionally, the entrepreneurs pay a $50 monthly fee for the program.

A list and descriptions of the 2011/12 and 2012/13 Creative Ventures are available upon request.