Opportunity has enticed entrepreneurs to make their mark on the city of Detroit, and both small-scale social entrepreneurs and larger companies are coming up with creative ways to impact the city.
As the founder of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert is just one of the entrepreneurs that has opened offices in the city within the last five years. Gilbert, and his father and grandfather, were all born in Detroit, and Gilbert is inspired by the opportunity of impacting the city.
Quicken Loans is the third-largest mortgage provider in the country, and in 2010, the company moved a additional 1,700 employees, bringing the total to 7,000 employees in downtown Detroit. Gilbert is now Detroit’s third-largest landowner, taking place just behind the city itself and General Motors.
Gilbert stated to FastCompany:
As the commitment to downtown grows larger, everything becomes easier. It’s inch by inch, brick by brick. The more people come in, the more difficult it is for skeptics and pessimists to have a credible position. We offer a lot of internships—600 interns from across the country. You can intern in Chicago or New York and do fine. But if you come here, you have an opportunity to affect the outcome. That is a big selling point for this generation.
Gilbert has invested $1 billion in downtown Detroit so far, and his plan to entice other businesses to invest in the area seems to be paying off. More than 60 companies have moved into his buildings downtown, where coffee shops, retailers and stores like Whole Foods are revivifying the neighborhood.
Entrepreneurs like Dan Gilbert are committing to bringing opportunity to Detroit, further establishing the city as a burgeoning outlet for startups and social entrepreneurs.