CEDAM is proud to host a new collaborative network supporting Michigan microenterprise: the Microenterprise Network of Michigan (MNM). Continue reading for information about the network and to find out how to get involved.

The Microenterprise Network of Michigan is a new resource for microenterprise development organizations across the state. MNM supports and promotes those who foster job creation, asset building, access to capital and economic growth. MNM members include practitioners who offer microlending services, technical assistance and training. Members work on the policy side of microenterprise or represent organizations supporting microentrepreneurs or lending organizations.

Currently, MNM Coordinator Amber Paxton and MNM Intern Claire Glenn are redeveloping and strengthening the capacity, services and outlook of the network. In the near future, MNM plans to expand its membership base, increase networking and referral opportunities for practitioners, provide free webinar and best practices trainings and advocate for increased awareness of the microenterprise movement. We are more than a list of contacts – we are a tool that tangibly improves the climate for microenterprise in Michigan.

Nationally, Michigan ranks low in the amount of state support for microenterprise development. As shown in the CFED Scorecard, the Michigan government has not codified its support, or allocated any resources to microenterprise lending, training, or technical assistance. Yet microlending and microbusinesses represent an imperative part of the Michigan economy. Microbusinesses represent 87% of businesses and 17% of jobs statewide. According to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, if just one in three microbusinesses hired one additional employee, the U.S. economy would achieve full employment.

In light of these staggering statistics, MNM aims to join our members in a collective voice to show the impact of microenterprise in revitalizing the Michigan economy. To learn more about MNM or to become a member, please contact MNM Intern Claire Glenn. Currently membership is free and includes a subscription to monthly e-newsletters, notification of relevant events, trainings, and funding opportunities, and sharing of best practices. MNM also plans to offer free webinars, referral sources, and a speakers’ bureau in 2012.

Don’t forget to visit the MNM website and like us on Facebook. Share MNM with your friends and networks and spread the microenterprise movement. To donate to the Microenterprise Network of Michigan via PayPal, visit our website.

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