Need affordable help? Our Fellowship program matches tomorrow’s civic entrepreneurs with small businesses in Detroit who need help the most.

Our Fellows work up to four days per week at host Partner Companies and once per week at our headquarters to gain insights into startup life. Our Small Business Partners, often low in capital, benefit from having low cost help through our Fellows, who we predict, will also offer some youthful insights for our Partners.

Developing long-term, reciprocal relationships with Detroit’s startup and small business communities is fundamental to our mission of solving the two key problems we’ve identified:

  1. The inaccessibility to the valuable resources available in local entrepreneurial ecosystems to urban youth.
  2. Big cities often operate in silos, making it hard for the next generation of entrepreneurs to benefit from the valuable insights of those who came before them.

We’re looking forward to growing our list of Fellowship Small Business Partners doing amazing work all around our great city, and match them with our local Fellows to help educate and develop the next generation of civic entrepreneurs.

Learn More


photos_membership Our partners believe in the importance of retaining and attracting innovative, entrepreneurial thinkers at a young age and molding them before they get to those major crossroads in life where they are determining which fields to study in college, which cities they want to build their futures in, and how they might make their mark on those cities through entrepreneurship.


We work with small businesses with local roots who we feel we can provide the most value to. Our Partners are Under 40-led and/or Under 5 years old, have expressed and demonstrated capacity needs in their organization.


We ensure that our Fellows and Partners accurately reflect the diversity of Detroit. We want to show our Fellows and Users what is possible for them, by connecting them with entrepreneurs who might look like them or live in their neighborhoods.


Our Small Business Partners, often low in capital, benefit from having low cost help through our Fellows, who we predict, will also offer some youthful insights for our Partners.

Other Benefits:
  • Part-Time Fellow Employee Match, Up to 4 days per week/16-32 hours
  • I Am Young America Membership
  • Goodwill, as they’re helping to mold the next generation of Detroit doers

The overall challenge we’re trying to tackle is the unemployment of America’s youngest (16 to 25) and  brightest thinkers in urban cities. In March 2015, the overall U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent, and the unemployment rate of workers under the age of 25 were at 12.3 percent: 2.2 times as high.

I Am Young America proposes entrepreneurship as a solution to this high unemployment rate of America’s youth.

With the help of our Small Business & Community Partners, we hope to improve educational outcomes and ensure workforce success to undeserved youth through entrepreneurship education, representation, mentorship, and access.


1. Have a formal office location based within the city limits of Detroit; (Note: exceptions can be made IF the proposed project focuses on work solely in the city of Detroit AND the student’s work-site location is within the Detroit city limits)

2. Have a business led by one or more partners under 40 years of age and/or Have a business in operation for five years or less and/or Demonstrates a need based on limited staffing capacity for growth/success.

4. Employ at least one full-time equivalent, staff member who can provide professional, consistent supervisory oversight of Fellow.

Become A Partner

If you’ve read over all of the details, meet the requirements and are interested in becoming a Small Business Partner, use the button below to contact us today.

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