Anyone following my activities this past year knows that I have been consumed with the creation of something called the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative. Ever since returning to my home state of Michigan in 2007, I have been struck by the need to connect the intellect and resources of our entrepreneur communities with the needs, passion, and insight of people in our urban communities. My experience teaching entrepreneurship courses at the University of Michigan these past few years has only intensified my conviction that this is an area that deserves much focus and work. Last year, I convened an ad-hoc group of volunteers under the name Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, and we set about to determine if a focus on business innovation could bear fruit. What did we find? We found that entrepreneurs inside and outside urban communities are excited about the opportunities to change people’s lives for the better – to change the world, if you will – and that the present state of technology and innovation in a number of fields presents unprecedented opportunities to do so. We convened the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium on the University of Michigan campus in October, 2014, and the results of that event served to confirm our already well-formed conviction that the time for urban entrepreneurship is NOW.
Last month, the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative transitioned from ad-hoc status to an official Michigan corporation, and we are now applying for 510(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Federal government. We plan to hold another symposium this Fall, and we are rolling out a series of programs that will serve to support, recognize, and enhance the work of urban entrepreneurs. For more information on our work, please visit the new web site urbanei.org. If you are interested in supporting the efforts of the Initiative, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you at Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015, if not before!