Urban-Focused Entrepreneurship: Help us find the PAIN!

Once again, we’re livin’ for the city.

Livin' for the City

Fall is almost upon us, and so it is time for the next edition of my University of Michigan class, “Urban-Focused Entrepreneurship.” In this class, students learn to create a for-profit business model to solve an important urban problem. The process begins with students engaging an urban community and its residents and leaders to identify a problem-solving opportunity. Students will continue to engage the community to determine and validate an important problem, and will work further with the community in order to test and validate their solutions. For many of the students, this is their first experience working with an urban community, and they almost always say that they come away richer from the experience.

This Fall, we will be connecting the students with community leaders and organizations who can help them identify community improvement opportunities, and who will be available for follow-up discussions and feedback. You can help make this an even more enriching experience for the students in one of two ways:

  1. Suggest an organization that is immersed in an urban community who my students can contact and work with.
  2. Suggest a community improvement opportunity, or “problem,” that you would like to see addressed in your own (urban) community.

You can send your suggestions in the comment section (below) or via e-mail to davidtarver@davidtarver.com. Stay tuned to this blog and to my Facebook (davidtarver) and Twitter (@davidtarver) streams. We’ll be providing brief updates and pictures throughout the coming academic season. If you are interested in attending our demo day at the end of the term, indicate this in the comments section.

2 thoughts on “Urban-Focused Entrepreneurship: Help us find the PAIN!

  1. Alonzo Harris, Jr.

    My name is Alonzo Harris Jr. BSEEE 75 (313 377-1559. I have been helping individual entrepreneurs in Detroit since 1986. I was a co-creator of the Detroit Entrepreneurs Project of 1986. I am now operate a tax and accounting service. The purpose of most Entrepreneurial efforts is to create jobs by changing the delivery mechanism for goods and services; creating a new product or service to serve an unmet need; or to compete with bigger or less flexible companies based on one or more PriceDeliveryServiceQuality(PDQS). The problem with most efforts remain a lack of proper financing (even with good business plans). I believe your group can develop financing campaigns targeted non bank prime lenders to help resolve this issue.
    A second issue is that in Cities like Detroit many small firms can’t afford the Bonding, Liability Insurance, Contact Management and skilled workers required for the major projects. Most commitments for minority or women owned business has been decreased fro 6.6% to 0% and the local government leaders are not demanding more.

    Finally many would be entrepreneurs work for companies like, QuickenLoans. These companies ask their young people to be innovative and develop their ideas within the company. Many of these innovators are interns who may work for the company several years, but do not become non-intern employees. Their ideas are left behind and they are not compensated. An effort to reach out, engage and provide support for these entrepreneurs would really enriched your class.

    Reply

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