DETROIT (WWJ) – The Challenge Detroit program for young entrepreneurs is open for business and accepting applications.

Officials from Birmingham-based Collaborative Group, which established the program, aid Challenge Detroit is getting lots of applicants for its 30 openings to spend a full year working to make a difference in Detroit.

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Dierdre Green Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit, said the organization is looking for dedicated, entrepreneurial thinkers who are willing to completely immerse themselves in yearlong program to live, work, play and give in Detroit.

Participants will get free housing in Detroit’s Midtown area and a $30,000 stipend, and they’ll work in one of 30 Detroit-area companies that have agreed to participate in the program.

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They’ll also participate in monthly social and cultural group activities and charitable projects. The idea is to transform Detroit by injecting a new group of hard-charging entrepreneurs into the city — hopefully, every year, on an ongoing basis.

The deadline for applications is March 16. Applications must include a brief video and other materials. The Web site for applications is www.challengedetroit.org.

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The program will name 100 semifinalists by March 30. The public will then vote online to select 60 finalists. Those finalists will be personally interviewed to come up with the 30 winners.