ACCESS Growth Center is the newest department at ACCESS, dedicated to community and economic development. Its signature program, the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program, involves supporting entrepreneurs who want to start and grow businesses, helping them connect to the myriad of entrepreneurial resources available throughout southeast Michigan.
Located in the heart of southeast Michigan’s Arab American community, The Growth Center @ Arab American National Museum (AANM) offers programs to populations who face barriers to traditional services in the business sector and empowers them to pursue self-employment, succeed in establishing and growing their business enterprises and make an economic impact on the community.
The Growth Center is an idea activator and small business incubator focused on providing services and support to entrepreneurs and small businesses in underserved neighborhoods and communities in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. Most clients are disadvantaged immigrants, refugees, artists, women and other minorities.
The Growth Center joined AANM in October 2016 after relocating within ACCESS. Its programs and services are delivered in a culturally appropriate manner for the community it serves and resides in. It reinforces the Museum’s community-building work while leveraging its location and presence within the region to foster economic development and creative placemaking. Among the entrepreneurial and microbusiness-training programs and initiatives offered at The Growth Center @ AANM are:
IGNITE, an English course, and EXPLORE, an Arabic course, are multi-week introductory business-training classes that offer students
resources for starting up a business in their field of interest. Students receive guidance and assistance in the fundamental elements of launching a successful business venture.
Refugee entrepreneurs are also eligible to apply for a microloan. This program provides qualified applicants, including, but not limited to, refugees and political asylees, a character-based loan to help launch or grow their business venture. Applicants may qualify for a microloan following a process of evaluation conducted by The Growth Center team.
For additional opportunities for microloans check out the BizLoan Fund.
The Growth Center staff uses specialized knowledge of entrepreneurial challenges and needs to provide encouragement, support and individualized coaching for entrepreneurs, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. Coaches assess businesses, evaluate goals and objectives and provide guidance in establishing business and strategic planning. Coaches work collaboratively with partner organizations and business consultants to help clients establish and grow their business.
The Growth Center’s programs and services also include business technical assistance, peer mentorship and support, connectivity to resources in the local entrepreneur ecosystem, pop-up retail space to provide direct market access and hands-on training in retail product development, pricing, customer service and visual merchandising.
For questions or further information call 313.203.2681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.