The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) is a program of the U-M Center on Finance, Law & Policy designed to support small businesses in Detroit neighborhoods. U-M faculty who teach an action-based learning course or clinic can sign up to become DNEP-partner courses and receive programmatic support in recruiting exceptional business clients.


Faculty and Staff



Our work responds to the nuanced challenges facing small businesses as observed through our engagement with Detroit’s small business support ecosystem, and based on faculty research on entrepreneurship. DNEP's first project was a collaboration between the Law School, Business School, and Stamps School of Art & Design to provide interdisciplinary technical assistance to a group of neighborhood-based small businesses in Detroit.

Action-based learning courses across the University of Michigan work with Detroit small businesses through DNEP, involving both graduate and undergraduate students. Courses, clinics, and programs at the Law School, Ross School of Business, Ford School of Public Policy, Stamps School of Art & Design, School of Information, and College of Engineering contribute to DNEP's mission by working with Detroit-based small businesses.

DNEP by the Numbers

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Year Founded

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Businesses Assisted

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U-M Schools

(2020 Involvement)

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Courses, Clinics, & Programs

(2020 Unique Opportunities)

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U-M Faculty Involved

Detroit Partner Orgs


Partner Orgs in Detroit