Detroit Engagement

A Black man talking to two students.Detroit Engagement

U-M’s engagement with Detroit has extended over two centuries, and the Michigan Ross commitment to Detroit has continued for over 30 years, a mission that inextricably links the campus with this city of makers.

While neighborhood revitalization makes progress, and transformation is exciting, challenges still remain in struggling neighborhoods. Helping hands are needed to grow businesses, and leadership and counsel are instrumental to nonprofits; and your voice, your education, your participation will influence the innovation and gains of a new Detroit. We invite you to join us in partnering with people of Detroit to grow a more prosperous and democratic future.

Engage with Detroit through Business+Impact

In addition to the upcoming Impact Studio, you’ll be able to reach out to Detroit with three key programs described in further detail on this site:

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Board Fellows Program

The Board Fellows program works with graduate students like you to develop project management and  executive skills as board members in nonprofit organizations in Detroit and across Southeast Michigan.

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Open RoaD AT Ross

Since 2014, Ross has sent MBAs to participate in Open Road, a program that sends MBA students across the USA to work with visionary entrepreneurs. All teams start in Detroit.

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Each year, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs, undergraduate juniors from Ross, and MPP students, who intern in and around Detroit, and further afield.

Ross Accounting Outreach

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In collaboration with DNEP,  Business+Impact has launched an initiative to provide Detroit entrepreneurs with the accounting services they need to successfully launch and grow their business. These businesses help to create jobs in the Southeast Michigan region and ultimately help the growing economy.

Visit their website here.

See photos from October 2019

Engage with Detroit through Michigan Ross

As a Ross School of Business student, you’ll have the opportunity to leverage the following active initiatives:

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Sanger Business+Impact Challenge

The Business+Impact Challenge is an action-based team experience aimed at delivering innovative solutions to highly visible community organization, often in Detroit.

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Living Business Leadership Experience 

This initiative lets students lead a functional team, working directly with executives of a sponsoring company, like key companies  in Detroit. 

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Detroit Initiative AT ROSS

The Detroit Initiative at Ross (DIR) promotes Detroit’s assets and encourages students to discover, engage with and commit to the revitalization of the Motor City through exposure to professional, cultural, and community engagements. 

Engage with Detroit through U-M

The University of Michigan empowers you to impact Detroit social services, businesses, neighborhoods, medicine and education with a number of interdisciplinary programs campus-wide.

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Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) lets students work on real business problems in Detroit’s small business community.  DNEP +Impact Studio for Local Business offers funded internships.

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Ginsberg Center

The Edward Ginsberg Center supports faculty, academic program staff and GSIs who are active in community engagement. The staff trains people in mutually beneficial experiences, including many in Detroit.

Outside the University of Michigan Detroit Center
U-M Detroit Center

U-M’s Detroit Center mutually enriches the University and Detroit communities through service, education, research and the exchange of culture.

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Poverty Solutions

Poverty Solutions is unlike any other poverty initiative in the country. Its primary emphasis is on cultivating action-based research partnerships with community stakeholders and policy makers to build knowledge about what does work in confronting poverty.

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Semester in Detroit

Offered through LSA, Semester in Detroit will transform undergraduates like you by having you live, learn, and work in the city with community leaders in transformative change.


A group of students talking in a circleU-M’s bonds with Detroit are stronger than ever. Many U-M students, faculty and alumni have committed to work with Detroit communities, nonprofits, and businesses to create a better tomorrow. U-M has a number of initiatives that are dedicated to serving the city of Detroit. Learn about all types of projects offered in U-M+Detroit and how to get involved