Goldman Sach’s Program to Help 10,000 Small Businesses

By David Chang

Recently I had the privilege of being selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. As an entrepreneur with different business interests, I am constantly looking for ways to grow and expand. When I heard about this program, I jumped at the opportunity to apply, I am glad I did! Best of all, it is free if you are chosen (including room and board, and transportation costs if part of the national program)!

Goldman Sachs has invested $500 million dollars into the program to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.

One of the things we have learned is that there are 27.3 million businesses in the United States. Here are some fascinating statistics about our economy:
  • 5.9 million businesses have employees (other than the owner), 22% of all U.S. businesses. This means 78% of all small businesses in the US are non-employer and single person companies.
  • 13% have 1-4 employees
  • 4% have 5-9 employees
  • 2% have 10-19 employees
  • less than 2% have 20-99 employees
  • less than 1% have 100 to 500 employees
  • less than 1% have 500 or more

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a small business is one with less than 500 employees. This means more than 99% of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses! In addition, in the past 20 years 60% of jobs were created by small businesses. Small businesses are crucial to our economy, which is why starting one and helping it grow is very important for our future economy!

It is easier to start a business now than ever. Also in today’s economy, this is becoming more of anecessity than wish. According to research on the world’s richest people, entrepreneurship is often cited as the main source of wealth. (Click here for 55 business ideas that are less than $5,000).
Studies also show that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth, which is why Goldman Sachs has focused on helping the small business community.

Goldman has also teamed up with the ICIC (Initiative for a Competitive Inner City), a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. ICIC’s mission is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents.

Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC strengthens inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities.

The program is either offered through chosen cities throughout the country (Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City) and nationally at Babson College (ranked number #1 best college by Money Magazine and consistently the top entrepreneurship school in the country) for those that do not live in those cities.

In the pilot program, some of the top business schools in the country had difficulty with the program, so Goldman turned to Babson, which was a great move. The trio of Goldman, ICIC, and Babson has produced one of the best small business programs. Since I live in Hawaii, I could participate in the national program.

My cohort has 90 other business owners like myself, we are further broken down into 3 classes of 30, then growth groups of about 5 or 6, and partnered with a growth partner. Learning from each other, relating to our similar experiences, and sharing best practices is one of the most valuable elements of this program.

I highly recommend you consider applying if this program is right for you. It does take a large time commitment though. Most of the teaching is online through videos, forum discussions, webinars, and meetings with your advisor and growth partner. There are two face-to-face meetings at Babson that are about 4-5 days each that go in-depth on what you learned.

Rather than just a lecture or one-way learning experience, Babson developed the curriculum to be very interactive and team-based. The endstate is for you as the business owner to put together an “Opportunity Growth Statement”, similar to a business plan but more specific in a particular growth opportunity you will pursue. Your professors, instructors (many from top-notch businesses), mentors, and your classmates help you hone and develop your statement.

Here is more information from their website! If you are interested in the program and qualify, I would glad to give referrals! Just email me at david@artofthinkingsmart.com. In my cohort, literally a third of the class came from two cities, primarily because of the referrals. 

10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.

The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth. 10,000 Small Businesses is funded by Goldman Sachs and The Goldman Sachs Foundation.

The program is currently operating in Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and nationally at Babson College. It will continue to expand on a city-by-city basis.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

The program has three main components:

  • Practical Business and Management Education.  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is contributing $200 million to program partners, including local community colleges and business schools. Funds go towards scholarships, faculty training and technical assistance to help build the organizations’ capacity. Students receive a practical education that focuses on skills they can apply immediately, including accounting, marketing and human resources management.
  • Access to Capital. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has committed $300 million through a combination of lending and philanthropic support to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The investment will increase the amount of growth capital available to small businesses in underserved communities and expand the capacity of CDFIs to deliver financing and technical assistance to small businesses.
  • Business Support Services. Small business owners often face challenges finding networking opportunities and expert advice. The initiative provides these vital support services through partnerships with national and local business organizations, professional services firms and the people of Goldman Sachs.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is designed for business owners with limited resources who have a business poised for growth. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs within their community.

Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must be an owner or co-owner of a business
  • Business in operation for at least two years
  • Business revenues between $150,000 and $4.0 million in the most recent fiscal year
  • At least 4 employees (including the owner) and no more than 100

You can apply for the program by clicking on the links below:

National

Cleveland

Chicago

Dallas/Fort Worth

Detroit

Houston

Long Beach

Los Angeles

Miami

New Orleans

New York

Philadelphia

Salt Lake City

David Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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