©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

MEDC Awards first $25,000 Community Ventures Prize through the Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kathy Fagan

LANSING, Mich- The Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, a statewide competition designed to advance ideas and solutions that address social challenges, today presented a $25,000 Community Ventures Award to Vanguard Property Preservation Enterprise (PPE) for its innovative solution to provide employment opportunities to unemployed individuals in Detroit.   

Sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Community Ventures Award was presented to the social enterprise that best demonstrated potential to create hiring solutions for structurally unemployed individuals in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac or Saginaw.  

“Structural unemployment is among the most pressing challenges faced by communities around the state,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “The Social Entrepreneurship Challenge presented a natural opportunity for our state's social innovators to help address this issue by seeking ways to provide a talent match and supportive resources to employers, and to ensure that participating job seekers are provided with a career pathway.” 

The Vanguard PPE is an initiative of the Vanguard Community Development Corporation, which provides job opportunities for unemployed Detroiters, particularly citizens returning from prison, through the cleaning and maintenance of private-owner eviction and foreclosed properties.   

“We’re thrilled to accept the Community Ventures award, which brings needed resources and encouragement for the work we are doing,” said Natosha Tallman, Program Manager at Vanguard CDC. “The Vanguard PPE provides important income support, job and entrepreneurial training to decrease recidivism in our especially vulnerable communities.” 

 “We were inspired and impressed with the solution presented by Vanguard Community Development Corporation’s Property Preservation Enterprise,” Finney said. “This initiative embodies the creativity and tenacity needed to build healthy employment opportunities for communities across our state.”  

The Community Ventures Award was presented by Paula Sorrell, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 

For more information, visit michigancorps.org or Elizabeth Garlow,  Executive Director of Michigan Corps; egarlow@michigancorps.org or (313) 451-1217.  

Pure Michigan is a brand on the rise, representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan.  These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.   

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org.