EDA University Center for
Regional Economic Innovation
Assessment of the Maker Economy in Detroit (2018)
Student-Led, Faculty Guided Project - 2018
Author: Robin Boyle, Wayne State University
For many commentating on national trends, the 'maker economy' is a network of inventors, artisans and entrepreneurs dedicated to designing and making, and being committed to the places where they live. The maker economy has been encouraged by and employs new technologies and systems that in the past facilitate individuals or small businesses to design, make and merchandise products and services that were only available to larger business entities. The proposal as outlined builds off a metropolitan-wide study of the emerging maker economy conducted in UP 6550 - Introduction to Local Economic Development, an elective course in the WSU Master of Urban Planning program. This work, completed by 20 graduate students (under the guidance of Professor Robin Boyle) in the winter semester (Jan-April) 2017 addressed whether a 'maker economy has developed in Southeast Michigan, particularly Detroit, who are the "maker" enterprises, what support systems ("enablers") exit to assist emerging or growing firms identified in the maker economy and what are the perceived gaps in the services; supports provided by the facilitators; support organizations?