How empowering entrepreneurs leads to long-term community development

13 Nov

Service in Action

By Lucy Davis, Rotary International staff

“I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m closer to my goal than I’ve ever been. When you have somebody who’s willing to get behind you, somebody who believes in what you’re doing, there’s no reason not to succeed.”  – Levi Johnson, entrepreneur and LaunchDETROIT beneficiary

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Detroit, Michigan, USA, to see the impact of District 6400’s LaunchDETROIT project. The initiative was started in 2013 with a vision to revitalize the city by investing in local entrepreneurs. The program’s four pillar system – entrepreneurship training courses, a micro-loan, Rotarian mentorship, and networking opportunities – has since been adopted by Rotary clubs across the United States. Back in Detroit, the program is constantly evolving as new cohorts pass through the program and their businesses mature.

This year, the LaunchDETROIT Committee is applying for their first global grant from…

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