Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and Small Business Incubator Ponyride Combine Resources to Increase Support for Detroit Social Entrepreneurs

The partnership builds on successful 2019 collaboration and creates three new locations offering below market rents, co-working space, drop-in childcare, fitness center, test kitchen, laundromat, production and design studios and more.

DETROIT May 28, 2020 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) announced they will join forces with nationally recognized Ponyride, the small business incubator located in Detroit. The partnership will offer approximately 20,000 square feet of co-working and manufacturing space across three locations in Detroit and Highland Park.

The Ponyride program—under management of BGCSM, will continue to focus on breaking the poverty cycle for youth by creating economic mobility opportunities for the whole family. More than 50% of youth and their families are struggling to meet basic needs according to United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s ALICE report. This programmatic partnership aligns with BGCSM’s mission to fight poverty through economic mobility opportunities and providing resources in the community.

“Collaborating with Ponyride allows us to create a multigenerational pathway to economic mobility through neighborhood entrepreneurship,” says Shawn H. Wilson president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. “Funding is only going to become more challenging for social impact organization and together Ponyride and BGCSM can decrease expenses while increasing impact for the communities we serve.”

Since 2011, Ponyride has successfully incubated 45 Detroit-based small businesses including The Lip Bar, Empowerment Plan, Détroit is the New Black, Rebel Nell and Detroit Denim—with alumni generating more than $20M in annual revenue. The new partnership will provide space and resources for businesses that are in the health and beauty, culinary, technology and professional service industries.  Programs will focus on women and entrepreneurs of color.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Ponyride to work deeper in Detroit neighborhoods by partnering with an organization that has been so much for so many,” says Phil Cooley, co-founder of Ponyride. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with BGCSM and hope we can play a larger role in supporting the whole family by providing upward mobility for our social entrepreneurs of all ages.”

New Ponyride locations will be based inside three BGCSM Clubs—Dick and Sandy Dauch Club (Ponyride West), Fauver-Martin Club (Ponyride East) and Diehl Club (Ponyride South). At least four of the following Ponyride residents, Lotoya Vongrechin with V Agency, Alecia Gabriel, Chinonye Akunne, and Deirdre Roberson with Motor City S.T.E.A.M; Rhonda Greene with Heritage Works and Sew Great Detroit, a social enterprise of Alternative for Girls will make their new home within one of new locations.

For all residents, the new Ponyride will offer:

  • Partially subsidized below market rental spaces
  • Affordable co-working space
  • Community amenities—production and design studios, innovation lab, laundromat, test kitchen and fitness center
  • Drop-in childcare
  • FREE Intern and apprentice feeder program
  • Alumni Mentoring Program
  • Members Only events and experiences

Additionally, the well-established Ponyride Market will relaunch virtually on June 13th with an online small business marketplace, celebrity guest speakers, food demonstration, and more. More information to come.

For more information on how to become a Ponyride member or resident visit





About Ponyride

Since 2011, Ponyride continues to cultivate a diverse community that fosters opportunities for socially conscious artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and light manufacturers, and is committed to creating supportive environments where businesses can experiment, develop, and mature—which in turn helps to make Detroit a unique place to live, work, and thrive.


About Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan

Founded in 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) has over 94 year of experience serving youth ages 6-18 by providing a safe, fun place that inspires, while offering high quality programs that provide real-world learning from caring adult mentors. Serving nearly 15,000 youth annually within eight Clubs throughout southeastern Michigan, BGCSM works every day to provide a world-class experience, empowering youth to become change agents through economic mobility. To learn more about BGCSM visit and follow us on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

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