TechTown’s Blocks programs are for serious entrepreneurs with strong retail concepts and some retail activity experience (e.g., brick-and-mortar, pop-ups or online sales). We can help you start or grow a bakery, coffee shop, clothing boutique or a grocery store. We also work with fitness studios, hair salons and other service-based or lifestyle business, as well as small manufacturers. Check out our programs to see which is the right fit for you. Not sure where to begin? Sign up here for an Open Office Hour to talk to a member of our Blocks team!
SWOT City is a customized support program for brick-and-mortar small businesses in Detroit neighborhoods. Our staff of passionate, skilled professionals provides one-on-one assistance to help launch, stabilize and grow local businesses and strengthen neighborhood commercial districts.
How it works
Businesses typically start by completing other Blocks programs, such as Retail Boot Camp, or by attending Open Office Hours, which are hosted once a month at each of our neighborhood offices. Businesses may also connect with us through our education and networking events or by contacting us at email@example.com.
What we do
Once eligibility is established, we complete a comprehensive interview which includes a thorough SWOT analysis. From here, we develop an immediately actionable milestone plan, which serves as the foundation for our partnership. Then, through one-on-one, customized coaching, we help:
- Determine priorities, define strategies and set actionable goals
- Develop and refine growth plans
- Identify and navigate processes, including real estate purchase/leasing, permitting and licensing, grants and loans
- Connect to a broad network of tools and resources, including technical assistance, subject matter experts, sources of capital and professional services. Following the engagement period, we provide ongoing assistance on an as-needed basis.
Who we work with
SWOT City is currently working in seven Detroit neighborhoods, in partnership with community-based organizations: Brightmoor (Brightmoor Alliance), East Jefferson (Jefferson East, Inc), Grandmont Rosedale (Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp.), Mack Avenue ( Eastside Community Network), Osborn (Osborn Neighborhood Alliance), Southwest Detroit (FREC) and University District (Live6). We have offices in each neighborhood.
We work with businesses in our six neighborhoods who:
- Have or are preparing to open a brick-and-mortar business
- Are incorporated or willing to work with our team to become incorporated
- Are tax compliant or willing to work with our team to become tax compliant
- Have the potential to hire
- Are committed to undertaking all steps necessary to launch, stabilize or grow
TechTown’s Retail Services help promising retail entrepreneurs prepare for the launch of their brick-and-mortar businesses. At the heart of our Retail Services program is our Retail Boot Camp, an intensive, eight-week course that prepares serious entrepreneurs with strong retail concepts for the successful launch of their brick-and-mortar business in a core Detroit commercial district. We also provide a range of pop-up opportunities plus customized coaching and mini boot camp workshops.
Want guidance on which Blocks program is right for you? Looking for feedback on a business idea or expert guidance on navigating the ecosystem? Sign up here for a Blocks Open Office Hour to talk to a small business expert from our Blocks team.
Si prefiere conducir la consulta en español, por favor, haga la cita en la area de Southwest o Brightmoor; la consulta se puede manejar en español o inglés en ambos vecindarios. Puede comunicarse con la Gerente Bilingüe de Proyectos de SWOT City directamente firstname.lastname@example.org para servicio en español.)
TechTown also offers regular Open Office Hours with members of our Professional Service Providers network. Bankers, marketing professionals, small business consultants and other professionals are available for one-on-one appointments to answer your questions.
TechTown also offers regular Ask an Expert consultations with members of our Professional Services Network. Attorneys, marketing and finance professionals, business plan consultants and more are available for one-on-one appointments to answer your questions.
Click here to see the list of available experts and schedule an appointment.
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Aisha Warren believes fashion is her calling. Her business is Posh Fashions, a women’s boutique on East Jefferson. A TechTown SWOT City client, Aisha celebrated the grand opening of Posh Fashions on May 6.Details