Cyclists, can-do spirit and a hip youth culture -- all reasons why the
pegged Detroit as the latest American city to undergo a massive transformation from decrepit to desirable in recent years. In particular, the city's wave of new entrepreneurs speaks to a new post-industrial mindset in the ersatz Motor City.
While Detroit once attracted new residents with the promise of a comfortable factory gig, it's now seen as the new destination for creatives hungry to build their own dream jobs.
Very few of the many new businesses sprouting up are
getting outright government grants or tax breaks, said DC3 director Matt
Clayson. But micro-loans, venture capital investment, mentoring, cheap
work spaces, tools and equipment and help with market exposure are among
the resources made available to just about anyone with a viable idea.
Cooley, the owner of the wildly successful Corktown restaurant Slows
Bar BQ, said Detroit was once a city that relied on large companies
employing a large workforce in big factories. "How complacent we became, and we fell apart as a result," said Cooley, a 33-year-old business school dropout.