PRESENTED BY:          Mary Lee-Washington Ed.S/PhD (cd); M.Div; BS

President and Founder

Neighborhood Commerce Institute

26100 American Drive

Suite 607

Southfield, Michigan 48034

571-251-5193 Cell

434-249-0939 Business Cell



Introduction: Positioning Neighborhoods for Financial Change

Neighborhood Commerce Institute, Inc. (NCI) is an independent community-based international organization headquartered in metro Washington, DC.  Founded by Mary Lee-Washington, NCI is organized as a lead support community development corporation to develop 501(c)(3) Community/Change Development Corporations throughout the United States and abroad. Its aim is to revolutionize individual entrepreneurs with structured planning, organizing, and supporting grass root endeavors. Forging direct results by positioning neighborhoods for financial change. NCI brings strategic planning and development skills employed by the rich, famous, the movers and shakers to ordinary grass-root John and Jane Does; namely Black and peoples of color. It serves as enhancement services for existing community development corporations, community collaborations (i.e. faith-based initiatives, small businesses, entrepreneurs, any for-profits or not-for-profits); as well as governmental programs to reach under-privileged citizens. Services are true grass-root developments organized and implemented by the talented 10th of ordinary people who have been severely affected by the economic crisis. NCI seeks out the talented 10th to lead their neighborhood change.

Simply put NCI engages in strategizing, organizing, training, planning, coaching, developing, directing, and managing grass-root communities within local neighborhoods to implement economic change and forge success through philanthropy.


Program and Curriculum

By learning how self-employment can cultivate social and financial marketplace value, graduates (with an NCI training certificate through yourNeighborhood and NCI collaborative) will be prepared to develop and launch business ventures that will solve many societal problems and needs.

Participants will be provided with opportunities and support in the form of seeking seed funding, operations funding, and mentorship to launch or expand their ventures – as a startup or innovative company. You will immediately put your acquired business skills and knowledge into practice. This program is participant hands-on focused. Participants will develop their own ideas into a viable business formation.

The highlight of the project is a Neighborhood Community Development Incubator Corporation (NCDIC) in your neighborhood that will mirror the Community Development Corporation support project to advance Black-run businesses and emphasize an innovative collaboration of entrepreneurship. All types of entrepreneurs and small businesses are engaged whether they are technology-based, not-for-profit, products, or services. The NCDIC provides a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment and interaction with mentors and developing entrepreneurs locally and nationwide.

Services and Benefits

The NCDIC provides constituents a real-time practicum for developing their own businesses while yet learning and simultaneously contribute to the development of community/neighborhood startups and business expansions as peer mentors. NCDIC participants provide a platform to help peer participants and other workshop trainees to succeed in business.

  • NCI trainees will build real companies
  • Each trainee will peer-mentor and co-mentor, therefore provide coaching and guidance to others in their industry as well as NCI trainees
  • All participants will help their teams establish milestone targets
  • Develop real confident entrepreneurs and leaders
  • Throughout the workshops participants alike will develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed businesses and social movements
  • Engage guest speakers from the local business community
  • Engage behind-the-scenes trips to businesses and funding organizations


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