Reports call for increased focus on Southeast Michigan’s high-growth companies in key sectors to advance the region’s economy

DETROIT, November 16, 2021 – Endeavor Insight today released a series of new reports on Southeast Michigan’s scaling companies and what those companies suggest about our region’s competitive advantages. The reports call upon regional leaders to direct more resources to high-growth, entrepreneurial companies in key sectors, which are drivers for diversifying the economy.

Made possible with support from the William Davidson Foundation, the report series entitled Scaling Up: An Evaluation of the Region’s Key High-Growth Entrepreneurship Communities is a follow up to Southeast Michigan’s Competitive Advantages in Entrepreneurship — one of the largest studies of local entrepreneurship ever conducted by Endeavor. The study includes in-depth evaluations of more than 10,000 local companies across the seven local counties surrounding the cities of Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Endeavor’s research found that a significant portion of Southeast Michigan’s economy lies in industries that have low or negative projected growth over the next several years. In comparison, U.S. metropolitan areas with the greatest income and productivity share a common trait –they all generate more of a specific type of business: local, entrepreneurial companies with 50 or more employees in high-value industries.

The reports recommend the region leverage its existing strengths by supporting entrepreneurs leading high-growth companies in specific sectors that were found to represent Southeast Michigan’s competitive advantages in entrepreneurship and provide analysis of entrepreneurship communities in those sectors. They include fintech firms, shipping and logistics businesses, specialty food and beverage manufacturers, and software (IoT) providers. The study points out that improving the economy is achievable by increasing the number of local companies that grow in these sectors. National data pulled for the study suggests that if Southeast Michigan could create 60 new larger, high-value, entrepreneurial companies, it would increase local GDP by over $5 billion annually.

The reports also provide specific recommendations on how decision makers in both the private and public sectors can support the growth of local companies in each competitive advantage sector. Across all sectors, the reports call for leaders in Southeast Michigan to focus on programs that support companies that hold the most promise for second-stage growth — growth beyond the startup phase, which is necessary to take a company to maturity. These types of programs assist existing companies as they continue to scale and newer businesses that have the potential to grow rapidly.

In general, Endeavor recommends decision makers support the growth of larger, high-value, entrepreneurial companies in the sectors identified by (1) building stronger networks where experienced founders are encouraged to share knowledge, social connections, and financial capital with upcoming entrepreneurs in the region; and (2) taking regional action to better facilitate the exchange of resources between universities, accelerators, and other networks across the Detroit and Ann Arbor area.

Download the reports here.

Contact: [email protected]

About Endeavor

Established in 1997,  Endeavor currently operates in 40 growth markets throughout Europe, Latin America, North America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Endeavor promotes economic growth in underserved markets by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating entrepreneurs leading existing and future high-growth companies. With the support of an unrivaled network of business leaders, Endeavor selects entrepreneurs with the most potential to give back to the ecosystem and create economic impact through their companies, then provides customized services to help them scale their businesses.