November 26 / 2019
Article by AJ Williams, Michigan Chronicle

New Economy Initiative (NEI) Launches In Good Co. Detroit

The New Economy Initiative (NEI), with support from the Knight Foundation, is launching In Good Co. Detroit, a year-long campaign to inspire Detroit entrepreneurs. The campaign will share the stories of real Detroit entrepreneurs and small business owners through videos, podcasts, photography, and written features, as well as connect people to hundreds of business support resources. All campaign content will be featured on

“The power of this campaign is that it turns storytelling into action,” said Pam Lewis, director of NEI. “By sharing real stories of Detroit entrepreneurs, we hope to inspire everyday Detroiters to see their city as a place of opportunity where they can start or grow a business with support from their community.”

Over the past decade, NEI has provided more than $120 million in grants to organizations supporting local entrepreneurs by giving them access to the people, services, capital, and other resources they need to start and grow their businesses.

“In Good Co. adds a new dimension to our work,” said Lewis. “It’s one thing to spread the word about resources that can help people start or grow a business—that’s something we’ve done a lot of over the last 10 years. It’s another to expose Detroiters to stories of people like them who have been there and done that. It shows them that they’re not alone on their journey.”

In addition to stories, In Good Co. features a living directory of hundreds of business support resources available at Through the site, entrepreneurs can connect to service providers dedicated to helping small businesses grow in southeast Michigan.

“Representation matters, and by telling real and tangible stories of our local entrepreneurs, In Good Co. will inspire Detroiters and connect them with resources to develop their ideas or grow their existing businesses,” said Nathaniel Wallace, Knight Foundation’s Detroit director. “When small businesses succeed, communities succeed, because local entrepreneurs reinvest a good share of their sales back into their communities.”

The campaign will unfold over the course of a year and feature new stories every month. The inaugural subject of the campaign is Nieves Longordo, president of Diseños Ornamental Iron in southwest Detroit, whose story will be shared across a variety of media, including a podcast, video, and written feature produced by a talented team of Detroit storytellers, including:

Shannon Cason | Podcast
Shannon is a host, MainStage storyteller and GrandSlam champion with The Moth. He is a regular on NPR’s Snap Judgment;

Stephen McGee | Film
Stephen is a two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker.

Ali Lapetina | Photography
Ali is a documentary photographer and educator based in Detroit, Michigan. Her personal work explores stories of immigrant and underrepresented communities.

Serena Maria Daniels | Writing
Serena is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Detroit, reporting on the intersection of culture, immigration, politics, and food.

Alex Trajano | Sound
Alex has worked with artists such as Marcus Belgrave and Iggy Pop & The Stooges. He’s won multiple awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

Follow In Good Co. Detroit on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) @InGoodCoDetroit and sign up for the campaign’s newsletter at to receive the latest news and stories. Subscribe to the In Good Co. podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

The campaign will kick off with a special event on December 5 at Diseños Ornamental Iron in Southwest Detroit. For details, visit