New Economy Initiative sends staff to co-working spaces

If you work in a co-working space in Metro Detroit, chances are you could soon be sitting next to a representative of the New Economy Initiative (NEI).

The special project for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan focused on building the region's new economy is launching NEI Street Level, a new program that will give NEI staff a seat at the numerous co-working spaces across Metro Detroit. The idea is to spend a couple days a week embedded with local entrepreneurs to better understand their needs and challenges while also helping create connections in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"We think we can be better informed grant makers by being better embedded in the ecosystem," says Jim Boyle, senior program officer for the New Economy Initiative.

The first stop is Grand Circus in downtown Detroit. The co-working space inside the newly renovated Broderick Tower overlooks Grand Circus Park and is part of the M@dison Block technology cluster. New Economy Initiative staffers will be working there from this week until January. The New Economy Initiative has a core team of about a half dozen full-time people and has recently hired a communication's associate.

The NEI Street Level initiative plans to visit several other co-working spaces across the region in the coming months. Some of the candidates mentioned were Bamboo Detroit and co-working spaces in Ann Arbor. It's part of the non-profit's aim to help bolster the 1099 workforce in Metro Detroit.

"We're trying to shine a light on co-working spaces," Boyle says. "This is a new way to work."

Source: Jim Boyle, senior program officer for the New Economy Initiative
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at
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