The , an economic development initiative launched by ten foundations in 2007, has created nearly $3 billion in impact across southeastern Michigan, a report from NEI finds.
The (49 pages, PDF) found that between 2007 and 2015 NEI invested $96.2 million in organizations and programs that support entrepreneurs and small businesses, which in turn have generated $2.9 billion in economic output and created 17,490 jobs in the region, 70 percent of them in Wayne County. Conducted by PwC and the Upjohn Institute, the analysis found that NEI grantees have matched those grants with $211 million in additional program dollars; that 4,400 companies have been directly serviced by NEI grantees; and that those companies have generated $1.9 billion in real gross domestic product.
The report also highlights the initiative's success in increasing social equity and inclusion in the region's economy. For example, nearly 40 percent of the companies NEI has supported since 2009 are minority-owned — double the national average — while the initiative has helped boost the number of business support organizations and programs in the region from fewer than ten in 2007 to more than fifty today.
Since its launch, NEI has received support from twelve foundations — the , , , , , , , , , and foundations; the ; and the . For its next phase, running through 2020, NEI has secured commitments totaling $13.5 million from the McGregor Fund and the Ford, Knight, and foundations toward a goal of $28.5 million.
"NEI rightfully recognizes that entrepreneurship isn't the exclusive domain of the privileged," said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. "We believe in the power of inclusion and know that when opportunities are made available across communities, entrepreneurship can be a powerful means of addressing inequality."