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The Next Idea

Among small business owners in Michigan, access to capital remains one of the most significant challenges, especially for people in underserved communities. This seems to be true even in places with improving economies, like West Michigan. The area has seen a strong post-recession recovery in recent years, and ranks highly in the prevalence of investors. WalletHub named Grand Rapids #2 in its 2016 rankings of “Best Large Cities to Start a Business,” yet it was ranked 43rd out of 150 cities analyzed in terms of access to resources.

Andrew Colom and Davide Alade
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When we talk about investment in Detroit, the likes of Dan Gilbert or Christopher Ilitch come to mind. Certainly Gilbert has led the way in buying downtown buildings, reshaping the look of downtown Detroit. 

But today, we're going to look at investment in Detroit's neighborhoods.

Andrew Colom and David Alade both gave up jobs to move to Detroit and launch an investment company called Century Partners

Their idea was to invest in Detroit's neighborhoods, and to close the wealth disparity gap by helping people invest in the rehabilitation of their neighborhoods. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan may soon get out of the venture capital business.

The state House Commerce and Trade committee takes up legislation tomorrow that would sunset a state program that has made hundreds of millions of dollars in tax vouchers available for investment.  

UM Photo

A huge Connecticut-based hedge fund owned by an embattled billionaire is facing insider-trading charges.    And a former University of Michigan professor may have played a part. 

There’s an encouraging story to tell about Michigan companies. More companies are tapping into foreign markets, and that will have a duel result: they’re making money, and creating jobs.
 
Michigan was among 11 states that posted double-digit export growth last year. The Commerce Department reports that we were number eight when it came to exporting merchandise to foreign buyers.  It was at $56.9 billion in 2012.  That's up 12 percent from the year before.

Richard Curson is the director of the East Michigan US Export Assistance Center. He talked to us about the successes and challenges we face.

Click the audio above to hear the entire interview.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

New York investment firm offers to buy Compuware for $2.3 billion

Dec 17, 2012
Urban Adventures / flickr

A New York-based hedge fund said Monday that it wants to buy Compuware, Michigan’s largest technology company.

Elliott Management Corp. has offered to buy the company for $2.3 billion at $11-a-share. Elliott currently owns 8 percent of the Detroit-based software company.

The Detroit Free Press has more:

Matt and Kelly Grocoff's house in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Matt Grocoff.

The Environment Report has been following an effort to make a Michigan house the oldest net-zero house in America. That means in a year the home will produce as much energy or more than it uses. Lester Graham reports... the owners are at the point where they can reach that goal.

Matt and Kelly Grocoff bought an old house in a historic neighborhood in Ann Arbor a few years ago. Matt wanted to show that making an older home an energy efficient showcase made more sense than building new.  Kelly was just a little skeptical.

“When we first bought the house and Matt was talking about what he wanted to do and what some goals might be, part of me was sort of like yeah, yeah, you know. Matt’s a dreamer. He likes to think big. And it’s really happening.”

 

Find out how to assess your own home's energy efficiency.