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To apply to this position, please include a cover letter attached as the first page of your resume, addressing your specific interest in the position and outline your skills and experience that directly relate to the position.

Job Summary

The Center on Finance, Law & Policy at the University of Michigan is an interdisciplinary research center that draws together faculty, staff, and students from several U-M schools and colleges to work on a broad range of research projects focused on creating a financial system that is safer, fairer, and better harnessed to the real economy. We are seeking an energetic and skilled community builder to serve as the program manager for our largest program, the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP). The Program Manager will help match business with engaged learning courses across the University, recruit and supervise students who works as DNEP Accounting Consultants, design and manage our summer internship program, +Impact Studio for Local Business , and participate in fundraising activities.

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) is a five year old initiative that links local Detroit business owners with faculty, staff, and students from the Law School, the Ross School of Business, the Stamps School of Art & Design, the Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Information, and the College of Engineering to teach students and to help business’ overcome their financial, legal, design, operational, marketing, and technological challenges. Student teams provide professional services ranging from legal representation, to branding and marketing plans, to financial modeling and analysis. Last year, DNEP collaborated with Detroit partners to match 91 small business projects with U-M student teams across seven courses.

The DNEP Program Manager will be based at the U-M Detroit Center, but will travel to Ann Arbor as needed. The position reports to the Center on Finance, Law & Policy’s assistant director at the Ford School of Public Policy, but will also take direction from core DNEP faculty who provide strategic oversight of the program. The program manager can expect to spend large amounts of time meeting with small business owners, our Detroit partners, and U-M faculty to identify opportunities for reciprocal learning and meaningful small business support from U-M students.

The Center on Finance, Law & Policy is housed at the Ford School of Public Policy. The Ford School is one of the nation’s foremost policy schools, part of one of the world’s great public universities. We lead research that illuminates public policy challenges and opportunities, educate future policy leaders and analysts, and work with policymakers to inform and improve local, state, national, and international policies. Our dedication to the public good is grounded in our core values and inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion .

To learn more about the Ford School, read About Us . To learn more about the Center on Finance, Law & Policy, visit .


Cultivate authentic and mutually beneficial partnerships with Detroit small business owners, business service organizations, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), city and state officials, and U-M faculty and staff to support DNEP’s dual mandate of providing meaningful learning experiences for U-M students and assisting Detroit business owners through 1:1 assistance.

Facilitate and place 90+ projects per year with DNEP faculty who teach engaged learning courses. This involves recruiting referrals from our Detroit partners, interviewing hundreds of small business owners each year (often on-site), and shepherding entrepreneurs to the courses that best suit their needs and faculty’s learning goals for students, or referring them to other resources where appropriate.

Strategize with leaders in Detroit’s small business support ecosystem on the best ways to modify existing programming, coordinate services, and/or create new opportunities.

Manage administrative activities associated with DNEP courses by, among other things, making presentations to U-M students about DNEP and Detroit’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, coordinating DEI activities, and scheduling meetings and coordinating programmatic needs between DNEP faculty, students, and staff.

Have primary responsibility for managing operational activities and ensuring grant reporting deadlines and project milestones.
Mentor students and provide key administrative and programmatic support for DNEP’s +Impact Studio for Local Business internship program.

Contribute to the larger engaged learning and business relations community at U-M by serving on various committees and working groups. Work closely with engaged learning offices across the University to identify opportunities for Detroit small businesses.

Develop and implement program evaluation metrics to assess overall effectiveness of the program and identify areas for improvement. 

Develop and manage communications and outreach strategies, including managing a media and marketing plan and regularly sharing information with all stakeholders.

Assist the CFLP assistant director and CFLP faculty directors with grant writing and other fundraising tasks.     

Represent DNEP at public functions, workshops, and other events.

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

A bachelor’s degree and a comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship and the obstacles facing minority entrepreneurs (preferably in Detroit).

A minimum of three to five years’ experience in a position focused on economic development, community relations, or small business support.

Past success working with diverse constituencies and the ability to coordinate across multidisciplinary stakeholders.

Detailed knowledge of Detroit neighborhoods, with experience working in the City of Detroit.

Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.

Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable; able to set and achieve strategic objectives and manage multiple projects.

Familiarity and experience working with Excel.

A proven history of working to get things done with little to no oversight, including completing the “last mile” of projects.

Desired Qualifications*

Prior knowledge of and/or experience with the University of Michigan’s entrepreneurship programs, engaged learning programs, Detroit programs, or some combination of the three.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.