Since 2006, East Lansing's Prima Civitas has been a catalyst for economic and community development --initially in mid-Michigan and eventually across the state. The non-profit brings together business owners, entrepreneurs and Michigan State University resources to spark economic growth.
The concept of microfinance -- essentially small loans given to entrepreneurs who are too little or too under-funded to qualify for traditional bank loans -- has exploded in the developing world.
One of the leading online platforms for microfinance is called Kiva, which connects entrepreneurs with interest-free loans offered by community members. About two years ago, with the help of Michigan Corps, a Detroit-based non-profit organization, Kiva became the first microfinance effort in the United States. Last month, Michigan Corps expanded Kiva’s platform into Flint.
Economic developers in Michigan suggest there may be a silver lining to the Great Recession and the state’s well-documented decline in manufacturing. Some point to a greater awareness of entrepreneurialism and to more interest in small business start-ups around the state.
Today on Current State: Local business leader and chairman of the MSU Board of Trustees Joel Ferguson opens up about business, politics; 21st century community building around the #lovelansing Twitter hashtag; sports with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode, Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock.
A unique community has evolved around the #lovelansing Twitter hashtag. It started as a way for Lansing-lovers to tweet the places they go and things they do. It’s now full of retail and restaurant specials, sure, but also links to Lansing State Journal articles, cultural events, and it’s even been used to rally volunteers during a holiday shortage of meal deliverers.
Early users Robin Miner-Swartz and Belinda Thurston discuss the evolution of the #lovelansing hashtag.
When people think of Michigan's economy, their minds likely don't turn to art.
However, a new report may get Michigan's creative sector a second look. The non-profit organization ArtServe released its second annual “Creative State Michigan” study last week. The report suggests that creative and cultural enterprises have a positive effect on the state’s economy.
Today on Current State: Coverage of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero's "State of the City" address, a tour of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, MIRS' Craig Mauger discusses his lengthy interview with House Speaker Jase Bolger, and the economic impact of Michigan's public universities.
Can parks, natural areas and waterways affect employment growth and income? Yes, according to a new study by the Land Policy Institute and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory at Michigan State University.