This week marks the second anniversary of the announcement of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, a national, multi-year investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing entrepreneurs with greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is playing an active role to help engage colleges and promote this initiative as a growth strategy for small businesses and communities.
“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative has, in a very short time, infused a dynamic energy that engages community colleges and small business owners in key communities around the nation,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. “These innovative models will ultimately benefit both communities and the nation.”
The initiative is implemented locally by community colleges, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and community organizations and is currently operating in Chicago, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York. College partners in these cities are the City Colleges of Chicago, Houston Community College, Long Beach Community College District, Los Angeles City College, Delgado Community College, and LaGuardia Community College, respectively. By year end, more than 500 businesses will have benefited from the program, and significant job growth already has been achieved.
Angelica of Colmex Construction in River Ridge, Louisiana is just one of the many small business owners who have excelled as a result of the program. She explains, “I’ve always felt I have the mind of an entrepreneur, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has given me the confidence to make that a reality. Having the opportunity to interact with other small business owners has been refreshing.” In six months since joining 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College, Colmex Construction’s revenues have exceeded the total of the previous three years’; revenues in the first quarter of 2011, alone, already surpassed all of 2010 revenues. Angelica has also secured five new contracts and filled new positions.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants embody the diversity and potential of American small businesses, representing a broad range of industries, business types and sizes. The initiative is designed for business owners with limited resources who have a business poised for growth; it is free to accepted business owners. Participants will benefit from approximately 100 hours of business education, an additional 6-8 hours/week of business support services, including technical assistance, one-on-one business advising and business clinics, and expert advice to help participants create and refine business growth plans.
Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to growing their businesses and creating jobs within their community. Business owners targeted include, but are not limited to:
- 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
Learn more about how the program is helping to spur economic recovery—and find out how entrepreneurs in participating cities can apply—by visiting the 10,000 Small Businesses website.