Detroit’s Jobless Economy: Startups Take Root

In Detroit, a city with rampant unemployment, big crowds in the middle of the day may mean someone is giving out freebies.

But on a recent workday, over 450 people packed an auditorium downtown. They weren’t looking for a hand out, sympathy or even a job application. They were looking to start their own business.

These would-be entrepreneurs flocked to an auditorium on Wayne State University’s campus with ideas big and small.

Attendees also took part in a variety of workshops including ones on how to raise money, how to save on shipping costs and how to run a service or lifestyle businesses. Each attendee got a chance to meet one-on-one with a business counselor and the opportunity to sign up for more free classes.

Some proposals focused on technical businesses — a former Ford manufacturing expert wants to start a consulting firm advising companies on how to make their manufacturing processes more efficient, while a former software engineer had started a company that makes Web-based system that hosts emergency contact and other medical information for children.

Photo by LeoSynapse.

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