Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Entrepreneurs may be the economic game-changers

I attended the Michigan Emerging conference for small business at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn on Nov. 17, 2010. It was an energizing event, chock full of information and motivation. Naively, I asked the registrar if today was Nov. 11, since I was writing a check for the conference (trying to save the sponsors a credit card fee.) She politely told me that it was the 17th.  Okay, so I was a week behind the times. But the conference quickly brought me up to date.
The business climate in Michigan is electric. People are buzzing with ideas, plugged into the community and depending on social media and phone apps to launch new programs and spread the word about existing services or products.
I met several other entrepreneurs whom I have known over the years. I mentioned to one that this meeting truly embodies a sense of “We can make this work.” vs. “This business climate is dismal; let’s just wait it out.” He agreed that the tide is turning and greater prosperity may be right around the corner.
The conference was electrifying and I believe that Detroit is on the forefront of an entrepreneurial revolution (take off on Chevy’s “American revolution” campaign”). Henry Ford and his good friend Thomas Edison launched successful ventures in decades past. Maybe fellow Michiganders can follow in their footsteps.
The conference ended on an upbeat note. The owner of five Subway shops in a town that fronts Lake Huron is visiting 200 Michigan cities and running five miles in each to promote small business. He asked the audience to say in unison, “We believe in Michigan” as it was video-taped. It only took two takes to get it right. Make no mistake, we, as entrepreneurs in Michigan, are enthusiastic about our endeavors and will work relentlessly to make our goals a reality.