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After 5 Detroit

777 Woodward Ave. Suite 500
Detroit, MI 48226

Kerry Doman

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?

Since deciding to start my own business, I have supplemented my formal education (B.A. in Communications from Denison University) with advice and counsel from a group of mentors I have sought out. These business people, from various professions and industries, have been invaluable to me in terms of developing and honing my business skills.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?

I started by listing everyone I knew, directly or indirectly, and my first advertiser was actually a real estate agency managed by the mother of a high school friend. Once I'd exhausted everyone on that initial list, I just started walking from one potential business customer to another, introducing myself and my business. This was so far outside my comfort zone that it was really scary, but the persistence paid off in the end.

Where did you find your first employee?

Actually, my Mom was teaching a class at Oakland University and when she told her students about my business, one of them approached her to say how interested he was in working for After 5. My next employee contacted me through the site to tell me how much she liked what I was doing and to see if I needed an editor. I did.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?

Two of my interns have been converted to full-time status.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?

"Fortunately, I've been able to borrow the necessary capital from family and friends.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?

"Entrepreneurs are not the type to wait for changes to be made to the economy. If we see an opportunity, we go for it in whatever creative way we need to. It's good to see more focus recently on encouraging start-up businesses.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?

We need to believe in ourselves and our future and come together to build a better tomorrow. We can accomplish anything we set our minds to, so let's get going and do what we need to do.

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