100K Ideas requests state funding to enhance resources for Flint micro-businesses

FLINT, Michigan — The entrepreneurial nonprofit 100K Ideas recently requested state funding to amplify the collective efforts of micro-business support providers in Flint. If the request is granted, the funding will be used to better serve the city's micro-business community and achieve collective goals.

According to Brandee Cooke-Brown, Executive Director of 100K Ideas, the organization’s request is rooted in working with the Flint network of micro-business supporters to provide more targeted resources that streamline the nuanced needs of micro-business owners.

Cooke-Brown sees this funding opportunity as pivotal in designing tailored support that considers micro-businesses' specific challenges.

100K Ideas is a Flint-based organization designed to help innovators shift from “napkin sketch to market” and to provide real-world experience and services to aspiring entrepreneurs and emerging innovators. The organization works to help address the unmet needs of entrepreneurship while providing a platform and network of support for economic and workforce development. 

“Our commitment is to identify and understand these unique needs and respond with innovative and creative approaches. By focusing on what micro-business owners truly need, we aim to bridge the gap and ensure they feel genuinely supported throughout their entrepreneurial journey,” said Cooke-Brown.

As a known hub for innovators and entrepreneurs looking to launch, sustain, or grow their micro-business, 100K Ideas has played a large role in supporting aspiring entrepreneurs throughout their journey, from the conception of ideas to market entry.

While the programs and initiatives have supported and empowered micro-businesses, they also work in collaboration with other networks like the Flint Entrepreneurial Ecosystem which comprises various spokes that collectively support micro-businesses.

“Having intricately woven a robust network within the Flint Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, 100K Ideas is committed to delivering referrals that are specifically tailored to the unique needs of each business,” said Cooke-Brown. “This strategic approach not only enhances the probability of success but also reflects our dedication to creating a supportive and flourishing environment for local businesses in our community.”

While the Flint network of micro-business supporters is continuing to build strategic initiatives to improve the access to resources and services for up-and-coming innovators, Cooke-Brown expresses how important it is that community members understand that “supporting local businesses involves more than just making purchases.”

Cooke-Brown encourages community members to “shop locally, spread the word about their favorite businesses, and familiarize themselves with available resources.”

She also shares that helpful resources like business plan development, loan support, and retail assistance can significantly contribute to the growth and success of local enterprises so the residents must take an all-hands approach to supporting the needs of new entrepreneurs in the city. 

According to Cooke-Brown, “Investing in small businesses not only contributes to the local economy but also creates a lasting impact as these businesses are more likely to sustain operations, hire local talent, and engage with other small businesses for support services.”

To learn more about the work and efforts of 100K Ideas, visit: 100kideas.org.
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Read more articles by Brianna Nargiso.