Build Institute hits road with Build Bazaars pop-ups and Open City forums

Build Institute has made a name for itself with classes that help aspiring entrepreneurs in Detroit learn the basics of building a company or small businesses. To complement that, they're hosting a number of Build Bazaars pop-up marketplaces and Open City small business forums across the city this summer.

"We are more than just classes," says Christianne Sims, program manager for Build Institute. "People can go through our programs but they also have other resources available to them."

Build Bazaars are rotating pop-up marketplaces featuring products from small businesses in Detroit. Graduates of Build Institute's classes use the bazaars to help drive initial sales and get their businesses off the ground. The products range from artisanal candles and soap, to fresh baked goods and handmade wares.

The first Build Bazaar was held last week at the 24th Annual Congress for New Urbanism at the Detroit Opera House. Two more will be held at the MASH Detroit soft opening at 14711 Mack on June 25 and the Concert of Colors diversity themed festival at the Max Fisher Music Center in Midtown between July 14 and 17.

Open City is where Detroit's aspiring and established small business owners go to network. The small forum is composed of a panel of speakers (selected by Build Institute) that discuss small business topics. The free gatherings take place on the third Monday of every month at the downtown bar Cliff Bells. (For more on Open City, check out this Model D article from 2015)

The first "on the road" event is the Brick By Brick: Building Community Through Small Business, which will focus on how small businesses are the anchors of their communities and the socio-economic hubs of the surrounding neighborhoods. It starts at 6 p.m. on June 20 and will be held at the Detroit Blues Café, 14493 Gratiot Ave.

"Detroit is more than downtown," Sims says. "We have so many commercial corridors."

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Jon Zemke.

Jon Zemke is a news editor with Model D and its sister publications, Metromode and Concentrate. He's also a small-scale real-estate developer and landlord in the greater downtown Detroit area.