New online learning and grant opportunity aims to lift local BIPOC- and women-owned small businesses

What’s happening: A new online resource for Detroit’s small businesses is set to be introduced, one that is intended to help BIPOC- and women-owned businesses succeed in today’s digital economy. And a partnership of national and local organizations is making it happen — free of charge.

What it is: Verizon, Next Street, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have partnered to present the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready platform, a new online platform that offers entrepreneurs access to free educational resources, business coaches, and networking and grant opportunities. The program is presented locally by LISC Detroit and the organization has tapped the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s BuyDetroit initiative as their “Community Champions.” The two organizations will serve as liaisons, tasked with introducing the platform to Detroit’s small business community.

How it works: After registering online, small businesses will be able to access the free online curriculum, which offers informative lessons and learning modules; one-on-one and group business coaching and mentorship sessions; networking opportunities; and more. Those that complete at least two courses or mentoring events will become eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant. The two courses or events must be completed by Monday, Nov. 14, in order for a participant to be eligible for a grant.

Registration for Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready platform is available online.

What they’re saying: “LISC is actively working with Detroit's BIPOC- and women-owned small businesses to support an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The small business community continues to be a driver in Detroit’s revitalization and we must ensure that these businesses have access to resources and tools that will help their businesses thrive in today's digital economy,” says Camille Walker Banks, LISC Detroit Executive Director. “LISC Detroit is honored to partner with two trusted community champions, the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s BuyDetroit initiative, to introduce Verizon's free online Small Business Digital Ready platform to Detroit businesses."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.