Entrepreneurs Finding a Home in Michigan

By Marcy Kates, Coordinator of the Microenterprice Network of Michigan

A few weeks ago, the CEDAM blog was titled “Starting a Business in Michigan.” It highlighted not only a few of the unique and exciting businesses that have been developed, but also some great resources to assist in the process.

In June, Michipreneur (a very active blog/social media entity) covered the Mackinac Policy Conference, and simultaneously polled Michigan entrepreneurs across the state to measure their thoughts about the culture awaiting Michigan start-ups in our great state.

It is a pleasant surprise to see that the results aren’t all about the need for start-up capital. Yes, its importance was clear throughout the results. However, the #1 answer to the question “Why did you choose the Michigan city you are in to locate your company?” was “It’s my home.” The two most popular answers to a question asking about most valuable resources were affordable workspace and mentorship.

Opportunities to provide narrative feedback yielded similarly interested thoughts; individuals expressed a desire to locate businesses in walkable, inclusive communities. They appreciate the opportunity for networking and collaboration. One respondent even stated that s/he still wants Michigan communities to be “cooler.

Yes, those who took the survey often stated they wished more investment funding and seed capital was available, but that didn’t take precedence in the comments or the final statistical response. Clearly, emphasis needs to continue on the “community” aspect of “community development” to keep entrepreneurs at home, and to make Michigan a home for new residents.