Renew Your Business

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Congratulations and thank you to the 2021 Renew Your Business Training and Grant Program group of fifteen fabulous business owners from the Ypsilanti area!

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.

The 2021 cohort experienced four months of training, mentor support, peer group building and received a business grant. Congratulations on spending the time and energy to refocus and build out your businesses.

Help us celebrate and uplift our businesses in the area - check them out and support local!


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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.
 
In 2021 the program was funded by Ann Arbor SPARK and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.


What is included?

  • 10 weeks of CO.STARTERS RebuildTM virtual class, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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].