The Hustle

hustle logoAs of the 2012 census, there were more than 60,000 small businesses in Detroit and nearly 49,000 of them were Black-owned. These businesses and the people who run them are often anchors in their communities: providing neighbors with opportunities for employment, recreation, support and socializing; as well as access to quality goods and services and skilled care. 

Yet few Black-owned Detroit companies grow enough to hire even one employee. Only one in 30 has at least one paid worker, compared to one in three white-owned businesses.¹ While about 40% of Detroiters considered themselves entrepreneurs in 2020, they have less access to investment capital than business owners in the rest of the region and the Black entrepreneurship rate lags that of whites in both the city and suburbs.² 

During the months of May and June, we’re looking for YOUR suggestions of inspiring Black entrepreneurs to be featured in the Detroit Historical Museum’s newest project: The Hustle. Help us celebrate the unsung innovators in our community and showcase the passion and potential in the city’s Black business community to the 150,000+ adults and children who visit the museum annually.

Nominate an entrepreneur here or by calling 313.833.4727. Let us know how your pick embodies “the Hustle” in their work or in their community. Selected entrepreneurs will tell their own stories in a dedicated oral history interview (that will become part of the Detroit Historical Society’s permanent collection) and be photographed in a professional portrait (to be displayed in the museum). We are looking for business owners of all ages and genders, in any industry and at any stage in their careers.


Nominate an entrepreneur


Please note that in order to be eligible for selection, nominees must be Black, They or their businesses (if brick and mortar) must be based in Detroit. All nominees will be recognized, even if not chosen for the final exhibit.

The Hustle is sponsored by The Gilbert Family Foundation, Toyota Motor North America and AAA/The Auto Club Group with additional funding from Bank of America, PNC Bank and JP Morgan Chase.

¹Source and more info:

²Source and more info: