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ProsperUS Trainers - ProsperUS Detroit

With diverse backgrounds and business experience, our Trainers are culturally competent and committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. Each Trainer excels at helping entrepreneurs get from a dream or an idea to developing an exhaustive understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Through twelve in-class sessions and ten one-on-one consultations, our Trainers are committed to helping participants progress toward the creation of a business plan. With ongoing relationships and accountability, our Trainers are mentors and counselors to students and program graduates.

Training Team

With education at the forefront of his personal and professional development as a lifelong Detroiter and city advocate, Marcus Harris is committed to his own education and that of his students in multiple capacities. With his Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, he is now pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Lawrence Technological University’s College of Management. Through this work, his research interests include social entrepreneurship and social innovation, urban entrepreneurship and microenterprise development, and nonprofit management and leadership. As the Managing Director of his own consulting firm, Urban Strategies Services, Marcus works with businesses at any stage in their growth through our training program, and he also serves as a facilitator for BUILD Social, an innovative training and development program for social entrepreneurs, which he co-founded and launched with nonprofit D:hive Detroit (now Build Institute) in 2014. He currently serves as the Program Director for Innovation Springboard at the Henry Ford Learning Institute, and he is devoted to molding burgeoning entrepreneurs as adjunct faculty in the Entrepreneurial Studies department for Wayne County Community College.


Especially versed in finances and business plan development, Lawrence Jackson is a skilled facilitator and passionate about his work as a business advocate. As a Financial Specialist for Emerging Enterprise Group, he works with businesses in the areas of financial analysis, lending tactics, Small Business Association’s loan strategies, tax strategy, business development, entrepreneurship, and business plan facilitation. Working with a variety of service providers in Detroit, Lawrence is truly an advocate that sees the value of financial planning for entrepreneurs. With his Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Davenport University, he transfers his knowledge to participants for the betterment of the community through financial viability.


Regarding entrepreneurship with reverence, Laura Sigmon is a graduate of Detroit Public Schools and sees the potential in Detroit’s neighborhood businesses. As the President and CEO of Best Practices Consulting Services, she has more than twenty years of senior leadership experience specializing in business development, marketing, strategic planning, and capacity building. She transfers this expertise to the classroom because she sees the value in providing real application-based learning environments. Utilizing her Master of Business Administration from Davenport University, Laura also serves as a Business Instructor at Mott Community College. Trust is at the forefront of the work she does concerning small business development and management.


Particularly versed in technology, Marvin offers expertise in using technology to start, expand, and manage a small business. An entrepreneur himself, Marvin has owned and operated a few different small businesses of his own before concentrating on using technology for community organizing and teaching. After a stint in Washington, DC, Marvin recently returned to the Southeast Michigan area working with the Defense Intelligence Agency as an IT Project Manager while serving as the Board Chairman for the City of Melvindale’s Economic Development Corporation. Possessing a Master of Business Administration from Baker College with a concentration in Computer Information Systems, he has experience with technology in both the corporate and small business ecosystems with extensive ties to the Detroit area.



Paul Jones has a unique combination of institutional finance, small business advisory and entrepreneurship experience. Mr. Jones currently serves as Executive Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Team.  Prior to working with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, Paul founded TIVA Capital Advisors, a “virtual CFO company, that focuses on data analytics, financial literacy and value extraction. In the previous 10 years, Mr. Jones was co-founder & CEO of IPX EG International, a telecom company domiciled in west Africa. Under Paul’s leadership, IPX grew from start-up to $20mm annual sales with over 100 employees.


Our beloved trainer Monica Echeverri Casarez passed away Easter Sunday due to complications caused by Covid-19. Monica taught our Southwest Detroit cohorts and her entrepreneurs loved her for many reasons. We remember Monica as a bright energetic personality with a sharp mind. She was a woman who valued justice and took action to help others. She had a way to entertain and inspire and we loved hearing her stories and insights.  A true community leader, Monica worked tirelessly to help those in need and we wish to honor her memory by ensuring that her work continues. We are mourning her loss, uplifting her beautiful spirit, and praying for her family and loved ones.

For more on Monica see our remembrance post.

Work With US

Our Entrepreneur Training Program is eager to work with trainers, mentors, and consultants that seek ways to connect with Detroit’s neighborhood businesses and promote place-based economic development. If you are interested in teaching low and moderate income, immigrant and minority entrepreneurs and small business owners how to build a successful business plan, we welcome your enthusiasm to help grow our program and offer essential resources to the community.

To learn more, please contact ProsperUS Detroit.

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