Jeff Karoub| Detroit Free Press

A Michigan-based social and economic services agency has launched a comprehensive program to help immigrants open or expand businesses.

Dearborn-based ACCESS recently held a graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of its Immigrant Entrepreneur Development Program. It’s one of several immigrant- and refugee-focused efforts in the organization’s new Growth Center division.

The Detroit area, which is home to one of the nation’s largest Arab populations, also has Nigerian, Bangladeshi, Bosnian and other communities. The program aims to assist newcomers in their entrepreneurial quest through classes, individual business coaching and direct access to programs and services inside and outside of the organization, such as business incubators and financial institutions.

Growth Center senior director Sonia Harb says ACCESS seeks to help lower-skilled workers with a “drive and acumen” to succeed.

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