On a sunny Thursday afternoon, I meet Nefertiti Harris at her salon in the Cass Corridor, one of Detroit’s comeback neighborhoods. Harris is a tall, slender, smiling woman with long locs wound neatly around the crown of her head.
DETROIT, US – How does a bankrupt city with a declining population and dwindling public finances provide transportation for its residents? Detroit’s answer to that question has increasingly been to leverage private investments and entrepreneurial ideas. A few of these entrepreneurial ideas are homegrown. Nearly six years ago local investors developed the M1 Rail concept, the city’s first-ever light rail. The $140 million project, funded almost entirely by private investment, breaks ground later this month and will start operations in the late 2015.
Steady access to capital is still a long ways off for pioneering local food entrepreneurs in Detroit. However, cooperation amongst entrepreneurs and mounting advocacy for innovative business structures are bringing secure funding into the horizon. DETROIT, United States – Detroit’s local food pioneers are transforming the fallow landscape and bringing nutritious cuisine to eager restaurants and families all across this notorious food desert. Despite demand from the community, many of these entrepreneurs are struggling to secure capital. The path to stable funding is complex and subjective, but enormous strides can be made with better enterprise planning on a micro scale and policy advocacy for alternative business models on a macro scale.