Detroit is known for innovation and great ideas, but when you're trying to build a business a great idea isn't enough. You need more than that, and that is what the Urban Economic Forum is all about.
"I truly believe that there's going to be some remarkable companies being birthed, ideas being generated because we really are [an] area that has a strong creative DNA," said entrepreneur Hajj Flemings.
Aspiring entrepreneurs like Samantha White are living proof.
"Ultimately, I'd like to start a Shakespeare company here in the City of Detroit. The goal is to expose, entertain and educate the City of Detroit about William Shakespeare and his works."
However, White knows a bright idea isn't enough.
"I could've just started the business and then I think it would've failed immediately."
That's exactly why she and so many others came to the White House Urban Economic Forum at Cobo Hall Thursday. It was an opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, banks and key government officials.
"When will we have another opportunity to be able to meet White House personnel, to be able to meet people who run the SBA? And so you want to be in a position to work with and to talk with decision makers," Flemings said.
That's why the White House is hosting economic forums in key cities across the country.
"We want to connect them with the resources that are right here in Detroit, SBA resources, local resources, to help them get the fuel that they need to grow their businesses and create jobs," said Marie Johns with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"We look forward to the transformation of our city utilizing the federal resources as best we can," said Mayor Dave Bing.
"Detroit's really re-branding itself. It's really positioned for growth," said Flemings.
He should know as the creator of Brand Camp University.
"We've been in existence since 2008. We're the largest personal branding conference in the Midwest."
Stories like his are exactly what Detroit's budding entrepreneurs need to hear. These forums are designed to help their dreams become a reality.
"It really makes me feel good not just as an entrepreneur, but just being a citizen of the City of Detroit," said White.
The SBA has all sorts of local resources on its web site at www.sba.gov to help you get connected to launch a successful business.