Our core 8-week business and project planning class is designed for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Classes are taught by local experts and cover all the basics of starting a business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. You’ll leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs in Detroit, and the knowledge and confidence to take your idea to the next level.

Build Basics sessions run quarterly and are offered on a flexible basis including daytime, evening and weekend sessions to accommodate busy schedules.

See the Spring 2018 Class Schedule here.


Curriculum

Our curriculum is learner-centered, hands-on and activity based, so you’ll be doing as much as you’ll be listening. At the start of every session, we provide you with a Build binder that includes lessons, resources and a sample business plan for you to fill out as we go.

Class topics include:

  • Money Management & Life Skills
  • Legal Structures, Licensing & Personal Budget
  • Personal Credit, Start-up Costs & Overhead
  • Sales Unit & Break Even Point
  • Sales and Profit Goals & Cash Flow
  • Target Markets, Market Research & Mission
  • Research, Competition, Pricing & Goals
  • Financing Sources & Loan Process


Guest Speakers

A large part of our curriculum includes guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds sharing their real world expertise and insight with our Builders. Below are some examples of previous speakers who have participated in our classes.

  • Eric Williams – Small Business Lawyer and former Director for the Program of Entrepreneurship and Business Law at WSU
  • Hajj Flemings – Brand Strategist, Speaker, Tech Entrepreneur, Brand Camp University
  • Elizabeth Garlow – Executive Director at Michigan Corps
  • Patrick Kruse – Lawyer and Professor, Patrick G Kruse PLC

Why Build Basics?

We strive to provide a nurturing environment for Builders both during and after they graduate from our classes. From ongoing educational workshops to alumni networking events, we know that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Read testimonials from graduates about why they loved taking a Build class! We hope you’ll take the time to explore our recommended online resources and check out what we offer to our graduates below.

  • Ongoing workshops in partnership with local entrepreneurial support organizations
  • Marketing through weekly Build Grad Profiles, social media, and newsletters
  • Open City monthly networking events
  • Build Bazaar pop-up marketplace for Build alumni
  • Alumni Engagement Events + Active Alumni FB Group
  • Access to Kiva advisor

Testimonials:  I Started with Build!

“Build helped me hone in on my market and the customer base that is here, and helped me put all my ideas into a business plan that made sense.” – Roslyn Karamoko, Détroit is the New Black (quote from The Five Year Anniversary Book)

“Build Institute helped me by providing the peer support and hands-on exercises necessary for me to first determine whether our business idea was viable, and secondly, to put together a business plan.” – Kirsten Ussery, Detroit Vegan Soul (quote from The Five Year Anniversary Book)

“The isolation and solitude of being a small business owner, especially at the very beginning, can be difficult to experience.  Being able to socialize with a group of people going through something similar was so helpful.  You felt like you wanted to do your homework for the people in your class, to help inspire and motivate each other.” – Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie (quote from The Five Year Anniversary Book)

“The city is coming back because of small businesses, and especially with the (robust) economy, people are looking to shop small.  I’m proud to be part of that movement.” – Lana Rodriguez, Mama Coo’s Boutique (quote from The Five Year Anniversary Book)

 

 


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Explore our programs

Build Basics

Co.Starters

Build Impact

Build Next

Open City

Grow Peer Roundtables

Build Bazaar

Pilot