Great Quality Developments: Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Finalist

Who are the team members?

Hattie McKinney, BA ’16, JD ’22

Tell us briefly about your business idea.

Great Quality Developments is a community focused, mixed-use development company that specializes in integrative developments that increase affordable housing, homeownership, and community resources in Detroit, MI. 

What was the origin of this venture?

It was founded out of a desire to respond to the affordable housing crisis and provide Detroit residents with a pathway to actively participate in the development of their neighborhoods. Housing is a highly determinative aspect in a person’s life; it influences a person’s financial, medical, and educational outcomes. To that end, we were inspired to increase opportunities for Detroit residents to engage in placemaking and neighborhood development.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of launching your venture?

We hope to promote greater engagement between developers and communities in Detroit without marginalizing those already present. Great Quality Developments aims to serve as a leading example of partnership placemaking. Additional long-term benefits of our company are increased affordable housing stock and economic development throughout the city of Detroit.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the MBC experience (so far)?

The biggest lesson that I have learned from the MBC experience is to trust the process. When I began this journey, I did not expect to walk away with lifelong friends but that is one of the unexpected — but extremely valuable — benefits of this opportunity. In addition to enriching my network with incredible people, the workshops have helped me develop smarter strategies to advance my venture.

What are your plans following MBC? How would prize money help your venture?

Following MBC and my graduation from law school, I will continue to develop my skills and become a better asset to my community. A portion of the prize money will be put towards purchasing the land necessary to establish this venture. While the remainder will be used to conduct market studies with block clubs to better understand the neighborhoods and how to create a successful foundation.

What advice do you have for other student entrepreneurs?

My advice to other student entrepreneurs is to follow your passion! There is a wealth of resources at your disposal as a student — use them. Do not be afraid to ask for help and pursue an idea that interests you.