DETROIT (WWJ) — LaunchDetroit, a micro-loan program developed by Rotary District 6400, will host an informational Open House for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The event will be held at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church, located at 8118 W. Vernor Ave. in Detroit.

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LaunchDetroit is a multi-pronged program that offers qualifying entrepreneurs a combination of free business training, micro loans of $1,000 to $2,500, assigned business mentors and networking opportunities.

With the goal to “revitalize local communities one entrepreneur at a time,” LaunchDetroit is starting with a pilot program in southwest Detroit, focusing on businesses and entrepreneurs, especially women, who can benefit from the business and financial resources the program offers.

“Our mission is to support and develop small businesses in under-resourced communities in the Detroit region,” said Rotarian Lawrence Wright, president of the LaunchDdetroit initiative.

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Qualifying applicants will receive business training provided by instructors from Baker College during five, three hour classes, held once a week. Upon completion of business training and business plan presentations, the LaunchDetroit selection committee will interview candidates for the micro-loans and assign a business mentor to each.

Successful candidates must have a business product or service that will enable them to repay their loan within one year through weekly installments. PNC Bank has offered its services to set up LaunchDetroit’s account that enables candidates to make regular loan payments.

“A lot of eyes are on Detroit right now, and we’ve received strong support from Rotary Clubs in our district along with a great deal of interest from local churches, community organizations and others interested in helping entrepreneurs in Detroit succeed,” Wright said.

Additional information and applications for the program will be provided at the September 18th Open House. An online application is also available at The deadline to apply for the pilot program is Friday, Oct. 4.

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LaunchDetroit is a non-profit program powered by Rotary District 6400, serving southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario. Questions may be emailed to