About Business Forward

Business Forward is composed of business experts and consultants with a deep understanding of Oakland County’s business climate and decades of combined experience with the challenges of small business, growth into large global entities, and the limitations of government. We work with entrepreneurs and small business owners to provide free targeted support including one-on-one consultations, training, and workshops in business development, market research, eCommerce, legal support, accounting, and more.

Portrait of a male group of black happy small business workers laughing at the door of an urban plant nursery wearing aprons in Dallas
An older woman handing a tray of plants to an older man, both are smiling

Business Forward exists to connect Oakland County’s entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources they need in order to be successful. We partner with local business service providers, chambers of commerce, and other known economic support organizations. While Oakland County has a great many programs and organizations that support community and economic development, too often small business owners are unaware that these resources even exist. While Business Forward exists to help all of Oakland County, special attention is given to underrepresented communities and minority-, woman-, LGBTQ- and veteran-owned businesses. Business Forward services previously fell under the county as a government initiative. Business Forward is now a program of Oakland Thrive.

About Business Forward

Business Forward is composed of business experts and consultants with a deep understanding of Oakland County’s business climate and decades of combined experience with the challenges of small business, growth into large global entities, and the limitations of government. We work with entrepreneurs and small business owners to provide free targeted support including one-on-one consultations, training, and workshops in business development, market research, eCommerce, legal support, accounting, and more.

Portrait of a male group of black happy small business workers laughing at the door of an urban plant nursery wearing aprons in Dallas
An older woman handing a tray of plants to an older man, both are smiling

Business Forward exists to connect Oakland County’s entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources they need in order to be successful. We partner with local business service providers, chambers of commerce, and other known economic support organizations. While Oakland County has a great many programs and organizations that support community and economic development, too often small business owners are unaware that these resources even exist. While Business Forward exists to help all of Oakland County, special attention is given to underrepresented communities and minority-, woman-, LGBTQ- and veteran-owned businesses. Business Forward services previously fell under the county as a government initiative. Business Forward is now a program of Oakland Thrive.

OUR IMPACT

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Businesses Served Since 2022

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$ 0 M
in free services offered
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Partners
OUR IMPACT
Multiple hands put together in a team hand-stack

Over

0
Businesses Served Since 2022
One asian woman and one african american woman chatting at a table

Over

$ 0 M
in free services offered
Two people back to back, smiling, and looking at each other

Over

0 +
Partners
OUR IMPACT
Multiple hands put together in a team hand-stack

Over

0
Businesses Served Since 2022
One asian woman and one african american woman chatting at a table

Over

$ 0 M
in free services offered
Two people back to back, smiling, and looking at each other

Over

0 +
Partners
Hear What Our Clients Have to Say.

Business Forward has a track record of success when it comes to helping small businesses in Oakland County by connecting them to the resources they need to thrive. Businesses that have benefitted from connecting with Business Forward include:

Cynthia Dane, Founder and CEO of Recipes For A Reason in Highland Township

When Cynthia Dane, Founder and CEO of Recipes For A Reason, was looking to sell her jars of organic vegan soup in retail shops and online, our Business Forward consultant connected her with a valued Resource Partner for Oakland County who used their relationship with Whole Foods to give Dane an opportunity to present samples for consideration. Recipes For A Reason has a fully functional online store as well.

RECIPES 4 A REASON
HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP
Gloria N. Smith and Tara Smith, co-owners of Total Glamour Beauty Supply in Southfield

When Total Glamour Beauty supply opened in 2021, business was slow. Our Business Forward consultant helped connect them with marketing assistance, education on retail best practices, and funding. Our consultant referred them to SCORE for marketing assistance and with CEED Lending, an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

TOTAL GLAMOUR BEAUTY
SOUTHFIELD
Jennifer Heard, founder of Love Bigger in Rochester Hills Michigan

In 2020, Jennifer Heard started Love Bigger, an app to connect people downsizing with local charities. Heard’s Business Forward Consultant helped to adjust Love Bigger’s business structure, allowing Heard to apply for additional lending to begin the beta testing necessary for the app to go live. The consultant also set up a registered apprenticeship program through Michigan Works! and received a grant to help fund the program.

LOVE BIGGER
ROCHESTER HILLS
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