The Islandview community aims to empower youth entrepreneurs to chase their dreams with a new program

June 5, 2019 | Robert D. Tompkins (Mr. Robert) | One Detroit Community Blogger

Photo by Michael Sellers

Church of the Messiah, Photo by Michael Sellers

The Church of the Messiah on the eastside of Detroit under the leadership of the Rev. Barry Randolph believes that God calls his people to change the world.

“As long as you do what you are called to do, the world will shine a bright light,” Barry often says.

Through community outreach and business development, Barry and the congregation are transforming the community of Islandview into an unstoppable force.

With its own housing development corporation and everything from jobs to tea being made or managed onsite, you’d think there would be nothing left to accomplish. But then you don’t know Pastor Barry.

The youth of Detroit need a real opportunity to grow and develop. Not just selling pizza kits or chocolates, though we all appreciate those treats, but with a real tangible outlet for their skills and services. As Barry all too often says, “If the world ain’t changing cause you showed up, you’re sitting on your assets.”

Photo by Mr. Robert

The grand opening of Angel’s Kitchen, Photo by Mr. Robert

With the success of Angel’s Kitchen, a catering enterprise started by 14-year-old Angel McCray under its wing, it was time for the Church of the Messiah community to seek out other youth entrepreneurs and offer them a chance at the same level of success.

Angel’s Kitchen went from just an idea to an actual business in under 4 months. Through coaching and collaborative work, her plans were made real through what later came to be known as Young Empire Detroit (YED) .

Young Empire Detroit (YED) was born out of a conversation last November between Angel, her older sister Myya Jones , Pastor Barry and Reuben Gordon of Better Detroit Youth Movement. Its purpose was simple: Chart a course for the youth of Detroit to be business owners and service providers.

Teach them how to do and sustain a business. Help create and maintain wealth thus changing their future for good.

As one of the newest additions to the Church of the Messiah’s family of programs, it has enlisted approximately 60 business and community leaders including nonprofit organizations across the city to provide a scope of services, as well as expertise and potential funding, to benefit Detroit youth in a variety of ways, including helping new entrepreneurs get started.

Young Empire Detroit (YED)

Though on a larger scale there will need to be some structure to ensure all business types see the same success as Angel, with business owners and community leaders regularly at the table, the space is fraught with possibilities. The program is still taking shape, but if you are a young person in Detroit, this is not an opportunity you want to miss.

Covering everything from fee structures, taxes, how to price items, hiring practices, e-commerce options, true startup costs, starting capital and more – this is an intense crash course on how to do business.

Pair the skills acquired through the trainings with incubator spaces, one-on-ones with providers in your intended field and a congregation that supports its own, success is almost inevitable. Imagine the force you could empower with just a little time, direction and resources.

The vision for Young Empire Detroit (YED) is to prove that young people have everything they need in order to be successful; anything else is just a bonus.

Be it degrees, certificates, promotions, cars, houses, whatever – it all is secondary to what’s inside you. You can create the future you want, because you are the future.

So, what are you doing with your power?

For more information on Young Empire Detroit or to find out how you can participate call the Church of the Messiah at (313) 567-1158 or (313) 567-4688.