Detroit remains an epicenter for entrepreneurship with nearly 62,000 small businesses within the city. Over 47,000 of those businesses are minority-owned, ranking Detroit the fourth in the country for minority ownership. However, long-term sustainability and growth continues to be a challenge with half of the new businesses not surviving beyond five years.
A newly formed social group hopes to combat that. The Soulcial Scene comprised of young black professionals was created to promote and support local black-owned restaurants by creating a social experience shuttling residents and professionals to black business locations. To make a larger impact, the group plans to launch in the downtown and midtown areas to capitalize on the large office populations and shuttle participants to black owned restaurant happy hours during the work week. Participants will be able to purchase tickets or subscribe to a membership to experience the monthly social event.
The Soulcial Scene’s goal and mission is not simply to create another social event but to provide an avenue for growth opportunities for black owned businesses to survive and thrive in
metropolitan cities such as Detroit. Since black business owners hire black employees at a 64 percent hiring rate versus 10 percent for non-black business owners (Euquant.com), the long-term goal is to
also increase black employment. Detroit will be the pilot city but the group has future plans to
launch in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
“The Soulcial Scene is a group of socially conscious consumers looking to use our spending
power to address social issues affecting black communities,” said Damion Ellis, founder of The
Soulcial Scene. “Our goal is to use black-owned business growth as a tool to provide resources
and job opportunities for black families, which we believe is the key to community
Ellis, a former finance executive with General Motors recently redirected his career to solely
focus on supporting black businesses with The Soulcial Scene and Box of Black, a monthly
subscription box of black-owned products and literature.
The group is currently fundraising to secure two shuttles buses by January 2017. The estimated
startup cost of $15,000 will cover the operations for renting two shuttles. Those interested in the
project can support the soft launch on Thursday, December 15th at Dime Store from 5:30-
8:00pm. Attendees are invited to the after work gathering to learn more about the project,
experience happy hour offerings, network with other professionals and participate in a silent
Tickets can be purchased on EventBrite. A portion of the proceeds from this event will
go to Prime Youth Program 501(c)3. Prime Youth Program is a non-profit organization started in
2015 that supports athletics for underserved communities in Detroit.
For more information about The Social Scene, visit http://www.soulcialscene.com or follow updates
on Facebook @soulcialscen