The Arab American National Museum is adding entrepreneurship to its programming. Called the Growth Center, the entrepreneur resource center will offer small business coaching and tutelage to the area's Arab American, immigrant and refugee populations. There will also be a focus on nurturing the local arts and culture scene.
For the past three years, the Growth Center has been a part of ACCESS, the parent organization of AANM. As a result of an internal re-organization, the Growth Center will now have a physical presence inside the museum located on Michigan Avenue in east downtown Dearborn.
Given its standing as a community center for metro Detroit's large Arab American population, officials believe AANM to be best equipped to operate the Growth Center.
"With our cultural institutions and business districts, Dearborn is the heart of the Arab-American community throughout metro Detroit. Our built environment and culture within it is rich," says Devon Akmon, Director of the Arab American National Museum. "How can we leverage those assets in a way that's beneficial to the community?"
Akmon and his organization believe the Growth Center is one way to do just that. The resource center is offering classes for entrepreneurs and one-on-one small business coaching sessions. Pop-ups, too, are a focus.
One way to teach small business lessons might be to turn the museum store into a sort of laboratory for budding entrepreneurs, exposing people to the different aspects that go into running a successful business, Akmon says.
There will also be a focus on arts and culture. An artist himself, Akmon wants to see more artists become financially successful.
"Our region is a magnet for creative people from across the nation. We want to enable artists to have further reach and become artist entrepreneurs."
The Arab American National Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.
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