The job market is tough right now. Join us for expert advice, job search workshops, and assistance navigating the job market. We provide a variety of workshops available to the community, access to our computer lab, and through our community partners, individualized consultation to help you find the job you are looking for and guide you on a path to greater self-sufficiency. In addition, the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living works with people with disabilities who are interested in starting their own small business.
MicroEnterprise Works (MEW) is a program that helps people with disabilities who are considering starting a small business. We help people evaluate their business ideas and whether they are personally ready to start a small business or be self-employed. If a business idea looks promising, we assist the client in preparing the business plan and financial analysis necessary to receive financial support and start the business.
Over the years, we have helped people start many different kinds of businesses. They have included custodial services, painting contracting, home improvement, a hotdog stand, selling products on eBay, woodworking, trophy and engraving sales, metal fabricating, and others. Many clients offer services such as massage therapy, manicures and pedicures, tax preparation and public notary services, pest extermination, dog grooming, car detailing, taxidermy, music lessons, and others.
The MEW Process
In helping people realize their dream of starting a small business, we work with individuals to:
- Develop a business idea
- Identify potential customers
- Research competitors, customer demands, and realistic costs
- Manage disability-related challenges
- Develop promotional materials and marketing plans
- Create an accounting system
- Forecast financial realities and needs
- Negotiate with vendors