UM-Dearbornís College of Business (COB) recently received two grants totaling $225,000 to support business growth in Michigan.

September 6, 2011

UM-Dearbornís College of Business (COB) recently received two grants totaling $225,000 to support business growth in Michigan.

The first grant funds research to help the Michigan Department of Transportation understand the processes and communication tools associated with its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. The yearlong $200,000 project will be conducted in partnership with researchers from UM-Dearbornís Center for Innovation Research - iLabs and Connected Vehicle Proving Center along with two minority-owned Michigan businesses -- ASG Renaissance and Somat Engineering.

The research team will survey MDOT staff and stakeholder DBE firms to understand how to improve the current program and communication tools. Interviews with other governmental agencies also will help identify the best practices and processes for MDOT to consider as the department revises its program. Outcomes from the research are expected to include tools to improve communications and awareness of the MDOT DBE program, which will be utilized to increase the number of women and minority-owned firms bidding on its projects.

The second grant of $25,000 from the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE) will support the Business of Franchising Initiative in the 2012 academic year. MIIE is a partnership between Michigan's public universities and the philanthropic community to strengthen ties between academia and industry while encouraging start-up and small business growth.

The Initiative, the first of its kind on a Michigan university campus, will increase awareness among students and young alumni regarding franchising as a business and career option while demonstrating how franchising is a viable growth strategy for start-up firms and existing businesses in Michigan. 

The Initiative will support several on-campus events featuring franchisee owners, leaders from the corporate parents, and experts in areas associated with franchising who will discuss the issues specific to franchising and how those issues relate more broadly to business ownership. An advisory group will help shape the program's content to make participating students ready for internships and careers in franchising. The advisory group -- which will include leaders from Little Caesars, H&R Block, Great Harvest Bread Company, and FranNet -- also will recruit speakers and suggest areas of research to assist the industry's growth in Michigan.  


Beth Marmarelli
313-593-5542 /