Crain’s: Southwest Economic Solutions receives $3.5 million from Kellogg Foundation

March 21st, 2018
Earn + Learn participants train in the skilled trades at the Randolph Career Technical Center.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports on The Kellogg Foundation’s $3.5M grant for our Earn + Learn and ProsperUS Detroit programs. Read the article in Crain’s here.

Southwest Economic Solutions receives $3.5 million from Kellogg Foundation

  • $1.8 million will support entrepreneurship programs
  • $1.7 million grant will support job training programs
  • Kellogg has been the primary funder of the programs

Southwest Economic Solutions has received a total of $3.5 million in grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help local residents overcome barriers to employment and support emerging entrepreneurs in Detroit, especially those from minority communities.

Kellogg has been the primary funder of the programs, now in their third iteration, the Detroit nonprofit said.

“Both of these programs are important in realizing the principle of equitable participation in the economic resurgence of the city, a principle for which Kellogg has been a leader and driving force,” John Van Camp, president and CEO of Southwest Solutions, said in an emailed statement.

Of the total, $1.8 million will support the expansion of Southwest’s ProsperUs Detroit program, which provides microenterprise training, lending and technical support to Detroit entrepreneurs, especially those in the African- American, Latino, Hispanic and Arabic communities.

Southwest has set a goal to serve 500 new entrepreneurs by the end of August 2019, while continuing to support existing entrepreneur clients, and make $300,000-$500,000 in microloans during that period.

Participants will receive, among other assistance, 12 weeks of business planning and 10 sessions of one-on-one coaching.

Another $1.7 million grant from Kellogg will support the expansion of Southwest’s Earn + Learn job training program, which assists people with barriers to employment. It connects those people with education, training and long-term employment.

The program will expand to serve 480 Detroit and Highland Park residents with barriers to employment, including at-risk youth ages 18-26, formerly incarcerated adults and low-income adults with low education levels, during 2018 and 2019.

Now in its third iteration, the program will include a refined work-readiness curriculum that will include more basic industry-related certifications, job search and workplace behavior.

Through the program, Southwest will provide education and training at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in Detroit’s Osborn neighborhood, at Focus: Hope, and in the Brightmoor and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods.

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