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BUILD partners with Etsy to offer craft entrepreneurship classes in Detroit

A recent BUILD class

Etsy is coming to Detroit thanks to a partnership with a local nonprofit.

BUILD Institute, which teaches the basic building blocks of business to Detroit entrepreneurs, will offer Etsy’s Craft Entrepreneurship Program in Detroit this spring, providing micro-business training for underemployed, low-income adults with creative skills.

Etsy is an online marketplace for crafts and homemade goods. Its Craft Entrepreneurship Program will not only help people harness their creative skills to earn extra income, but will teach them how best to market and sell their goods and connect with local entrepreneurial resources. The five-week course costs $75 for BUILD graduates and $100 per person for the general public.

"We're assessing the program as we go through it," says April Boyle, executive director of BUILD Institute. "If this pilot goes well, we will run it again."

The BUILD Institute got its start in 2012 as a program of D:hive, a multi-faceted welcome center that connected Detroiters and visitors with various opportunities in the city. BUILD specializes in helping aspiring entrepreneurs learn the basics of starting their own businesses and has grown into an independent organization since it spun off of D:Hive earlier this year. It has graduated 460 people since its inception. It graduated 160 people last year and is currently running six classes of about 60 people. Most of them are from Detroit, but some come from suburbs as close as Ferndale or as far away as Ann Arbor.

"There is a waiting list," Boyle says. "We can't keep up with demand."

Source: April Boyle, executive director of BUILD Institute
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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