D:hive grows BUILD program as demand for classes spikes

D:hive's BUILD program for aspiring entrepreneurs is experiencing a spike in demand, prompting the nonprofit to add a third class and look at adding another class in Hamtramck.

The BUILD program hosts a weekly class for two months that gives aspiring entrepreneurs and project leaders the tools to build a business or get a community project off the ground. The first class started early this year, graduating the likes of Hatch Detroit finalists Tashmoo Beirgarten and Detroit Vegan Soul. The BUILD program is now running two classes and is adding a third class this fall. It is on track to graduate 100 business ideas by the end of the year.

"We fill up every class. Sold out," says April Boyle, director of recruitment for D:hive. "We have 12-14 spots (per class) and we have 60 people waiting."

Those classes are occupied by people pursuing a broad range of lifestyle business ideas. Some of the entrepreneurial aspirations include an allergy free bakery, audio tour program, a clothing designer and manufacture, Food trucks/stalls/restaurants and an environmentally friendly cleaning service.

D:hive hosts the classes at its headquarters in downtown Detroit. However, the nonprofit is looking at expanding the classes to other nearby neighborhoods and suburbs, specifically Hamtramck. "We envision it moving to other neighborhoods," Boyle says. "We want to bring the classes to them instead of them just coming to us."

Source: April Boyle, director of recruitment for D:hive
Writer: Jon Zemke

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