Detroit's New Economy Initiative Announces 30 Small Business Winners for the 2nd Annual NEIdeas $10k Challenge: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth

- NEI awards $300,000 in grants to 30 small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

- More than 1,100 small businesses applied to NEIdeas in the last two years, helping them gain access to resources, connections to other entrepreneurs and support for their business.

Nov 02, 2015, 17:00 ET from New Economy Initiative

DETROIT, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- New Economy Initiative (NEI), a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), officially announced today the 30 small businesses from across Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park that were selected to win the $10k challenge during the second annual return of NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth.  The 30 winning businesses will each receive $10,000 awards for a total of $300,000 at a private award celebration this evening.

NEI launched NEIdeas in May 2014 to celebrate existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park and reward those with the best ideas for business growth. This was the second year of the two-tiered challenge which has given over $1 million in cash rewards and was open to small businesses at least three years or older.  The two types of awards included: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $750,000 annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $750,000 and $5 million annually.  The $100k challenge winners will be announced in December.

"We saw many great success stories from the first NEIdeas in 2014, from the hiring of new employees, to building improvements and increased service offerings, which all provide a critical boost for these economic drivers in our community," said David O. Egner, NEI Executive Director. "We were thrilled to see the diverse range of ideas and businesses that came from this year's NEIdeas applicants and can't wait to see their businesses grow and the ripple effect it will have on Detroit's neighborhoods and economy."

"Detroit's turnaround won't mean anything if longtime Detroiters aren't a part of it," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "Thanks to the New Economy Initiative's efforts to support small businesses in our city, we are seeing real growth in business expansion and job creation."

NEIdeas was operated in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC participated in the jury process and lead an outreach program that featured more than two dozen "Ambassador" organizations and institutions throughout all three cities, providing small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process.

"Over the past two years, NEIdeas has given us the opportunity to connect with more than 1,100 small businesses in the city," said Rodrick T. Miller, president & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. "NEIdeas, with its focus on existing businesses is a critical piece of Detroit's small business support system. This system is essential in helping every Detroiter participate in our economic expansion."

The 30 NEIdeas $10k challenge winners represent the innovation and ingenuity of Detroit's small business market.  NEIdeas narrowed down the applicant pool from more than 500 applicants to a select group of semifinalists. A jury comprised of empathetic entrepreneurs, small business leaders, non-profit partners and corporate partners recommended the final winners based on strict criteria including: growth opportunity, businesses' history and mission, neighborhood impact and good financial standing.

2015 NEIdeas $10k Challenge Winners Include*:

Anew Life Prosthetics and OrthoticsCustom Prosthetics and Orthotics - Detroit

Astro Coffee LLCCoffee Shop - Detroit.

Benkari LLCPlumbing Contractor - Detroit

Black Pride BeautyHair Weave and Extensions Manufacturer - Detroit

Blessed and Highly Favored Juice BarSpecialty Beverage Shop - Detroit

Brooklynn Brownies with LoveBakery – Detroit

Building HuggerDesign-Build Contracting Firm - Detroit

Cyberoptix Custom Silkscreened Clothing - Detroit

DAC Marketing (DBA Crescent PreNeed Funeral Services)Muslim Funeral Services - Detroit

Detroit Denim Co., - Men's Clothing Manufacturer - Detroit

Detroit Farm and Garden - Landscape Retail Facility - Detroit

Detroit Vegan SoulRestaurant - Detroit

Fill Good Dental CenterDental Practice – Detroit

Goodwells Natural Foods MarketOrganic Food Market - Detroit

Guerrilla FoodCatering and Pop-Up Food Business - Detroit

JP's Hand Car Wash and Detailing CenterAuto Wash and Detail Shop - Detroit.

Livingston Family DentistryDental Practice - Highland Park, MI

Motor City PopcornGourmet Popcorn - Detroit

Ocelot Print ShopCommunity Screen Print Shop - Detroit

Pot & Box Floral Design & Decor – Hamtramck, MI

Prop Art StudioIndustrial/Commercial Art Studio - Detroit

Sha-Sha's Kiddy KornerChild Care - Detroit

Singing Tree GardenUrban Farm and Tree Care - Detroit

Tamaleria Nuevo LeonHandmade Tamales - Detroit

Textures by NefertitiFull Service Salon - Detroit

The Hub of DetroitBike Repair Shop - Detroit

The Kid Network Daycare, LLCChild Care and Development Facility - Detroit

The Social Club Grooming Co. – Barbershop and Community Space - Detroit

White One AutoAutomotive Service – Detroit

*The 30th NEIdeas: $10k Challenge winner will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on each winning business, please visit

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SOURCE New Economy Initiative