ProsperUs Detroit is a community economic development organization that infuses low-to-moderate
income communities with services and capital to support income generation, business growth, and
neighborhood revitalization from within. We do this in partnership with community organizations,
residents, local and national stakeholders, and, most importantly, entrepreneurs.
Our core programming includes:
- Entrepreneur Training: We help emerging business owners get started with business planning
classes and one-on-one support. Focused on the entrepreneur, we provide 12 classroom
sessions at a community partner site paired with ten hours of one-on-one support that teaches
the fundamentals of business and address specific needs.
- Business Services: We help entrepreneurs connect to professional service providers and provide
grants to support their investment in projects. Through intentional investments on our part, we
connect business owners with trusted providers who are skilled in legal, marketing, graphic
design, accounting, and several more services.
- Microlending: We provide access to capital through a relationship-based lending process
designed to meet entrepreneur needs. Through trusted relationships, we coach business owners
every step of the way to secure a loan that fits their needs regardless of their previous financial
For the last ten years, ProsperUs has served as a catalyst for small business development in
neighborhoods. We have partnered with community members, neighborhood organizations, and
resource providers to respond to the needs of emerging and experienced entrepreneurs in our
community to serve over 1300 entrepreneurs. We are energized and inspired by neighborhood business
leaders and work to ensure they have the resources needed to succeed.
Project Proposal Description
For the last several months, ProsperUs Detroit has been the lead organization for the Anchor Business
Project. A collaboration with the New Economy Initiative (NEI), this is a pilot project that infuses
selected businesses with capital ($25K grants) and is pairing that with coordinated coaching and
technical assistance (TA) ($6,250 TA budget). The coaching and TA are a partnership between ProsperUs
and community development organizations (CDOs) where we intend to examine the impact on the
experiences of businesses, business owners, and commercial corridors. This project is managed by
ProsperUs on behalf of The Kresge Foundation in partnership with NEI. Our CDO partners include
Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, Jefferson East, Inc., Live6 Alliance, Midtown Detroit,
Inc., NW Goldberg Cares, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, and Southwest Detroit Business Association.
The pilot nature of this project means that ProsperUs is extremely interested in what we can learn from
and build into future opportunities. We are seeking a Duke Community Intern to support with project
evaluation measures including, but not limited to:
- Creating, interpreting, and analyzing survey data and results;
- Performing interviews with business owners, CDO partners, and coaches;
- Interpreting and analyzing interview content;
- Creating storytelling mechanisms for project outcomes; and,
- Supporting the project management of technical assistance project budgets.
ProsperUs and NEI are thrilled for this opportunity for collaboration with partners throughout the city.
We are hopeful that the results of this pilot will bolster other initiatives of this kind in additional
neighborhoods in Detroit as well as other cities nationally. To support this aspiration, this project will:
- Create valuable datasets and associated analysis;
- Value multiple “ways of knowing” by utilizing multiple evaluation methods;
- Develop storytelling collateral (interviews, recordings, video, photography); and
- Contribute to the overall ethos of collaboration and community.
Categorization of Project
Supervisor: Joanna Dueweke-Perez, Director of Operations & Programs
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org // (313) 586-0596