New Economy Initiative
The New Economy Initiative (NEI) is a Detroit-based funder collaborative established in 2007 to drive entrepreneurship and diversify and strengthen Southeast Michigan’s regional economy. Between 2000 and 2010, 50 percent of all jobs lost in the United States were in Michigan. The initiative represents the philanthropic community’s collective effort to help change the economic trajectory of Detroit and the surrounding region.
NEI began as a $100 million fund and supported a wide range of economic development projects, eventually concentrating its efforts in two primary areas:
- high-growth businesses in five sectors: food, medical-health, mobility, creative design, and smart-city infrastructure tech startups
- the creation and growth of small, neighborhood businesses
NEI offers technical assistance, micro-loans, business idea competitions, real estate and contract procurement assistance, and capital investment readiness training. From inception to the end of 2016, beneficiaries of the investment reported the creation and support of thousands of companies, the addition of more than 20,000 jobs, and the leveraging of $890 million into the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In addition, nearly 240,000 people participated in NEI-supported entrepreneurial events, workshops, and programs. NEI has had three capitalization phases and will transition out of its current role at the end of the third phase in 2021.
Funder Collaborative Phase III 2014
The New Economy Initiative focused its third capitalization phase on inclusive economic development for small businesses, technology and high-growth firms.
The William Davidson Foundation awarded the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the fiduciary for the New Economy Initiative, a two-year, $4 million grant in 2014 in support of Phase III activity.
Funder Collaborative Phase II 2013
The New Economy Initiative focused its second capitalization phase on high-growth technology startups and small, neighborhood-based businesses in Detroit.
The William Davidson Foundation awarded the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the fiduciary for the New Economy Initiative, a three-year, $5 million grant in 2013 in support of Phase II activity.