NEW!  Free Accounting Fridays for Small Business Owners. As a result of the successful pilot held from March 9 – April 13, 2018, we are happy to announce that the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project is expanding! Beginning May 11, 2018, University of Michigan Ross School of Business students, under faculty supervision, will offer free accounting advice to entrepreneurs every Friday afternoon. Small business owners can make an appointment at Services are provided at the University of Michigan Detroit Center. Please note: students do not provide tax advice. For tax advice, please consult a CPA or contact Accounting Aid Society. To schedule an appointment, visit

Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project: Linking Detroit Businesses with University of Michigan Students

Lunch Brake owner Achsha Jones poses with some of the Stamps School of Art & Design students working with her to get her “bustaurant” on the road.

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) is an interdisciplinary, action-based learning experience focused on assisting neighborhood-based small businesses in Detroit.  Launched in September 2016, this interdisciplinary clinic links faculty, staff, and students from across the University – including the Law School, the Ross School of Business, the Stamps School of Art & Design, the Ford School of Public Policy, and the College of Engineering  – with Detroit businesses to solve problems and address barriers to growth. The program is coordinated by the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy.

Small businesses in Detroit often suffer from a well-documented lack of access to capital, to business skills and legal advice, and to networks for mentoring and sales opportunities.  Women and minority entrepreneurs often face the greatest difficulties in getting access to these essentials for business success.  DNEP is an intervention that works to combat these obstacles by bringing together interdisciplinary teams of University of Michigan students to help entrepreneurs access capital, enter contracts, market their products and services, and overcome other business challenges.

At the same time, DNEP provides an opportunity for students to learn by tackling complex, real world problems in an environment where there is a commitment to learning and room for reflection. Students develop real-world experience, learn how to think critically, act strategically, and work in a team, and practice managing client relationships and working in a diverse setting.  DNEP aims to foster a life-long connection with community engagement, particularly within the city of Detroit.

By bringing together small businesses in Detroit, faculty, and students, DNEP creates a win-win situation for Detroit’s small businesses and University of Michigan students.

Read more about Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project:

U-M Stamps School of Art & Design:

U-M Ford School of Public Policy:

U-M Center on Finance, Law, and Policy: