Micro-loan program hosts open house for entrepreneurs July 29

LaunchDETROIT, a micro-loan program developed by Rotary District 6400, will host an informational open house for Detroit entrepreneurs and small businesses from 4 to 6 p.m. July 29 at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church, 8118 W. Vernor in Detroit. 

LaunchDETROIT is a multi-pronged program that offers qualifying entrepreneurs a combination of free business training, micro loans of $1,000 to $2,500, assigned business mentors and networking opportunities.

“We awarded our first micro-loans to 13 entrepreneurs in January, and we are currently accepting online applications to select the next group of entrepreneurs,” said Rotarian Lawrence Wright, president of the LaunchDETROIT initiative. “Our mission is to support and develop small businesses in under-resourced communities in the Detroit region.”

LaunchDETROIT has received national attention, Wright said, and is being documented by Rotary International, the world’s largest service organization headquartered in Evanston, Ill.

Qualifying applicants receive business training provided by instructors from Baker College during six three-hour classes, held once a week.  Upon completion of business training and business plan presentations, the LaunchDETROIT selection committee interviews candidates for the micro-loans and assigns a business mentor to each.

Successful candidates must have a business product or service that will enable them to repay their loan within one year through weekly installments.

Additional information will be provided at the open house. Guests will also have an opportunity to talk with some of the entrepreneurs participating in the program. The online application is available at www.LaunchDetroit.org, and the deadline to apply is Friday, August 22, 2014. 

LaunchDetroit is a non-profit program powered by Rotary volunteers from District 6400, which serves southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario.  Questions may be emailed to contact@LaunchDetroit.org.