Bridging the Digital Divide
Home / Bridging the Digital Divide

Bridging the Digital Divide

A computer access and digital literacy program for women entrepreneurs

What is the Digital Divide?

The gap between those who have access to a computer (and digital literacy) and those who don’t is called the digital divide.

16 graduate students in Wayne State University’s Master of Urban Planning program partnered with the East Warren Development Corporation (EWDC) to conduct a research study on the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on East Warren businesses. The study uncovered an urgent need for training opportunities for small businesses to improve their online presence and use e-commerce. Many of the small businesses in East Warren didn’t have a web presence at all and some didn’t have access to a computer.

EWDC invited Michigan Women Forward to come up with an innovative solution to help East Warren small businesses increase their digital footprint and create functioning websites.

Creating a Bridge:

Michigan Women Forward partnered with Dynamic Technology Solutions, Kanopi Social, and AD Accounting Auditing and Compliance Firm to develop the Bridging the Digital Divide program for a cohort of 17 East Warren small businesses. The program included the following key steps:

  1. Access to technology: Dynamic Technology Solutions donated laptops for every entrepreneur in the program. The laptop was set up with software like Microsoft suite, Shopify and QuickBooks.
  2. Technological Education: Each entrepreneur received step-by-step training on how to use Quickbooks, which is a critical accounting software, provided by AD Accounting Auditing and Compliance Firm. Quickbooks training is often expensive and out of reach.
  3. Training on digital marketing: Entrepreneurs participated in weekly “Let’s Get Digital” training classes provided by Kanopi Social designed to improve small business proficiencies in digital marketing through a hybrid curriculum cohort learning model.

The program enabled small businesses to establish a website and understand using analytics for attracting and retaining customers. This program, which began in May and will officially conclude in January, had a goal to help entrepreneurs get prepared with a website and digital presence in time for the holidays.

Support East Warren Businesses

Nine of the the seventeen East Warren business have officially launched their websites! We encourage you to shop their online stores and follow their pages to watch their digital footprint continue to grow!

Aura Vibez Jewelry by Lanika Hampton
Handmade custom jewelry company delivering metaphysical benefits through the use of semi precious stones and vibrant distinctive designs for color therapy.

Stacey’s 2 Day Tea LLC by Stacey Davis
For over 20 years Stacey’s 2 Day Tea is has served Ice Tea in a bottle, Only sweetened with natural ingredients, Stacey’s 2 Day is a perfect refreshing alternative to Pop and Juice.

Quintessential Body Butters and More by Qiana DuBose
An all natural body and bath metaphysical store we sale body butters, soaps, lotions, bath bombs, shower melts, incense, Spiritual items and Reiki

Health Emporium LLC by Teleah Mitchum
Simone’s Original Smoothies are made to order fresh from the highest quality ingredients, hand picked at peak perfection, from local farmers markets.

Terri’s Cakes Detroit by Garnet James
Terri’s Cakes Detroit is a made to order, delivery only, cake and cake accessory shop.

Kea Aromas by Lakeasha Watkins
A Black owned Detroit business providing hand poured soy candles. This company will provide you with the best smelling and cleanest burning candle on the market, locally made using only 100% natural ingredients

TbakesTreats LLC by Tina Anderson
A homebased bakery speciating in custom cakes, cupcakes and treats for your delight.

Grandma Hands Sweets and Treats LLC by Brandi Vaughn
A homebased bakery specializing in all natural sweets and treats. All of the ingredients are from scratch and handmade with love. Founded by Brandi Vaughn who through the love of her grandmother wants every customer to taste the love from her grandma’s kitchen.

Sweet Suga’s LLC by Dionne Morris
A homebased bakery specializing in homemade Bundt cakes, treats and more. Inspired by Family, Made with Love.

In addition to shopping women-led businesses this holiday, we hope you will consider supporting Michigan Women Forward in our pursuit to help women start and grow their businesses.