The ProsperUS Detroit Annual Convening celebrates the success of the entrepreneurial-training program, promotes program graduates and the businesses they have started, and provides the entrepreneurs opportunities to network with each other and others interested in supporting minority or immigrant-owned small businesses in the city.
The event was held on the evening of February 26 at Focus: Hope. This was the third consecutive year for the event.
More than 30 ProsperUS entrepreneurs participated and promoted their businesses to about 150 attendees. The guest speakers at the event included:
- Raquel Castañeda-López, Detroit City Council Member District 6
- Don Jones, Senior Program Officer of New Economy Initiative (NEI)
- Ken Harris, President of Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce
- Helen Shaw, ProsperUS Graduate
This year, ProsperUS recognized one trainer and three graduates with special awards. The Entrepreneur’s Choice Award was presented to Herbert Drayton, who has trained cohorts at both Focus: HOPE and Central Detroit Christian. Herbert received the highest percent of excellent reviews from entrepreneurs taking the training course.
The Trainer’s Choice Awards honored entrepreneurs who were nominated by the trainers. The winners of this award are:
- Larry Castleberry and his business Detroit Yoshinkan Aikido
- Linda Newton and her business Monarch Azure Homes
- Eric Peeples and his business Detroit Luxury Transportation
ProsperUS Detroit is a place-based economic development strategy designed to empower immigrant and minority individuals and communities through entrepreneurship training, micro-lending, technical assistance and capacity building. ProsperUS is a Southwest Solutions program.
The principal funders of ProsperUS are NEI and The Kellogg Foundation. Both have gone well beyond their funding role and are true partners in the program — actively vested in the success of its place-based model and in the success of the emerging entrepreneurs who are serving and helping to improve their own neighborhoods in the city.
To learn more about ProsperUS, visit its website.
See the Facebook photo essay: 2015 ProsperUS Detroit Annual Celebration