Renew Your Business

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renew logoHey Ypsi Business Owners:
Apply Now for a New Training & Grant Program!

The Renew Your Business Training and Grant Program is for Ypsilanti small business owners (in 48197 and 48198 zip codes) who identify as minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned businesses.

15 eligible recipients will each participate in a 10-week facilitated CO.STARTERS RebuildTM Course (virtual) + receive a $2500 small business grant + attend weekly peer meetups + receive mentorship and ongoing support.

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What is the program about?

The Renew Your Business Training and Grant Program is offered by the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC, and is designed to provide historically under-resourced business owners actionable next steps for long-term momentum and stabilization, after facing business hardships due to the global pandemic. The intent is to support a local network of entrepreneurs to foster mutual sustainability in our community.

The program is funded by Ann Arbor SPARK and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.

Applications will close on December 4th, 2020 at 5pm. Cohort members will be announced by Friday, December 11th. 

This program is for someone who:

  • Owns a for-profit small business in the 48197 or 48198 Washtenaw County zip code area.
  • Identifies as a minority-owned, woman-owned, and/or veteran-owned small business.
  • Is impacted by loss of business and customers due to COVID-19, yet is taking steps forward.
  • Has been in business for at least a year and continues to be operational. 
  • Has less than 10 employees.
  • Is ready to commit to a five-month virtual program to rebuild their business!

What is included?

  • 10 weeks of CO.STARTERS RebuildTM virtual classes, led by a Detroit Build Institute facilitator. 
  • A $2500 business grant, upon completion of the program.
  • Eight weeks of peer group meetups led by a business mentor.
  • Continued support services provided by the EC, its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, business mentors and resource partners.

What does it cost?

If accepted into the Renew program, a $75 course materials fee will be due Friday, December 18th, 2020, by 5pm. A class binder will be mailed by the date of the first class (no PO Box numbers).

What is my time commitment?

COURSE: 10 WEEKS, ONCE A WEEK, THREE HOURS/WEEK

  • One owner to attend a virtual class for 10 weeks, one time per week from the week of January 11th, 2021, through the week of March 22nd, 2021, arriving no later than 15 minutes after class begins, and staying for the duration of each class.  (No class on January 18th, MLK Day.)

PEER GROUP MEETINGS: EIGHT WEEKS, ONE HOUR/WEEK

  • Peer group meetups run from the week of March 29th, 2021 through the week of May 17th, 2021, led by business mentor.

Are there any other requirements to participate?

FULL ATTENDANCE AT WEEKLY CLASSES AND MEETUPS

GRANT SURVEY:

  • To identify goals for use of the business grant.

CLASS SURVEY:

  • To provide your feedback on the program, and what you achieved through the training, peer support, mentorship and grant monies.

 

The EC will email everyone who applied by Friday, December 11th, to let them know if they are accepted into the program.  Payment of the $75 materials fee will be due by Friday, December 18th, and will confirm acceptance by the applicant.

A committee made up of WCC staff and Renew business mentors will choose the final cohort; EC staff will not be part of the committee.

Yes, all of those who get accepted and fulfill the requirements will receive the grant.

No, you do not need to pay it back!  Funds are to be used for regular business expenses, such as equipment, technology needs, contracted services, payroll, rent, utilities, etc. Goals for use of the grant will be set out by participants in a grant survey gathered after the business training course has finished in March.

Rebuild is designed for existing businesses who are open and operational, have less than 10 employees, and have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended for early or small stage businesses who have been open at least one year and are from any industry or market, including solopreneurs or freelancers.  It is not suited for high-growth companies, franchise owners or entrepreneurs seeking investment.

Please connect with us as we do not want this to be a barrier to participating.
Yes, this includes businesses that are operating out of homes as well, such as online businesses.
We understand that people have busy schedules, but the only way to receive the full grant is by participating in and completing the program. 

According to the MEDC:

Minority-Owned means that the Eligible Business is at least fifty-one percent (51%) directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more, or any combination of, Black or African Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans (Alaska natives, native Hawaiians, or enrolled members of a federally or State recognized Indian tribe); Asian Americans; Arab or Middle Eastern Americans.

Veteran-Owned means that the Eligible Business is at least fifty-one percent (51%) directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more veterans of any military branch of the United States in addition to meeting all other eligibility requirements.

Women-Owned means that the Eligible Business is at least fifty-one percent (51%) directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more women in addition to meeting all other eligibility requirements.

The program host is The Entrepreneurship Center at WCC. The program is funded by Ann Arbor SPARK and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.

The business mentors are local entrepreneurs with experience in running their own businesses and a passion for empowering business owners and the community.

Yes. Program cost for chosen applicants is $75 for a course binder that will be mailed to your address that you provide. Please note: It cannot be mailed to a PO Box.
You will receive 50% of the grant upon completion of the 10-week course after filling out a survey. You will receive the final amount upon completing the peer group and mentorship meetings, by May 2021.
No. We ask that one person from the company attend all of the classes in order to get the full benefits of the course. 
The cohort will be split into 3-4 peer groups, with 4-5 business owners in each group, led by a business mentor.

No. This program is designed for for-profit businesses. However, we do have resources for nonprofit businesses. Please email [email protected] for more information.

The course is designed to give you tools to move your business forward and the grant is in place to help achieve your goals. 

Our hope is that the peer group relationships continue, and you continue to support the growth of one another as you thrive in your community. 

The Entrepreneurship Center will also continue to provide support through resources, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, events, webinars, and workshops. 

The Entrepreneurship Center will also continue to provide support through resources, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, events, webinars, and workshops.

If you have any other questions, please email [email protected].

APPLY NOW!