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Local Business Partners

Small Business Owner Advocates

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What is SBOA?

The Small Business Owner Advocates is a dedicated group of small and mid-sized Detroit business owners charged with utilizing their experience to inform the work of DMB and help the coalition keep business owner perspectives at the core of what we do. This group has been carefully selected to reflect the rich diversity of Detroit’s small business community, and to bring solutions-oriented owners together to support one another as well as business owners at large.

SBOA Fellowship


Thank you for your interest in the SBOA Fellowship, a ten-month program focused on elevating the power and the platform of Detroit's small business owners. The ideal candidate for the SBOA Fellowship is a Detroit-based entrepreneur who has an established, revenue-generating business and can allocate time from their schedule to help improve our business community. This experience will help business owners give back to their business community in a tangible way. Below is an overview of the SBOA Fellowship. If it is a good fit for you at this time, we encourage you to apply. Please reserve 60 to 75 minutes to complete the application.

Program Objectives

  • SBOA Fellows learn how to advocate as changemakers

  • SBOA Fellows create a better business community in Detroit

  • SBOA Fellows are better positioned to represent their industry and their district

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Benefits for Fellows

  • Refine leadership skills

  • Build their legacy with a tangible contribution

  • Network with other successful business owners

  • Leverage a platform for their voice

  • Receive mentoring to help achieve their next level

Fellow Qualifications

  • Over 18 years old

  • Full time, for-profit, LARA-registered business owner with at least one employee or contractor other than themselves

  • Detroit-based

  • In business for at least three years

  • Revenue-generating, with at least the immediate past two quarters of positive cash flow

  • Fully completed application

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2023 SBOA Fellowship Informational

2023 SBOA Fellowship Informational

Time Commitment

SBOA Fellowship sessions are scheduled for the following dates. They will be in-person from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Detroit-based locations to be determined. Sessions may be held virtually if required by adverse health or weather conditions. August 14, 2023 September 11, 2023 October 16, 2023 November 13, 2023 December 11, 2023 January 8, 2024 February 12, 2024 March 11, 2024 April 8, 2024 Fellows should also plan to attend the DMB Summit, tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 6, 2024. These dates are subject to change. SBOA Fellows will be notified in advance of any changes. Participants must attend seven of nine sessions to successfully complete the Fellowship. More than two absences may result in participants' dismissal from the Fellowship and disqualification from participation in future SBOA Fellow cohorts. SBOA Fellows will be matched with mentors and are expected to meet with them monthly from October 2023 through April 2024. No meeting is expected in December 2023. Meetings will be about one hour. Fellows should allocate one hour monthly to follow up on any actions from meeting with mentors. More than two missed mentor meetings may result in participants' dismissal from the Fellowship and disqualification from participation in future SBOA Fellow cohorts.

Small Business Owner Advocate (SBOA) Fellowship Application

Apply by June 2, 2023 at 11:59 pm

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