Don’t be fooled by the name — the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Tri-C offers huge economic opportunity
Small businesses form the backbone of the American economy. They account for 29.6 million businesses scattered across the nation — or 99 percent of all employers issuing paychecks, according to federal statistics.
Communities hinge on these small entrepreneurial enterprises, which collectively employ nearly half of America’s private workforce. Their growth and success is critical to the financial health of cities such as Cleveland.
That belief forms the core value of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program offered through Cuyahoga Community College.
The national program debuted at Tri-C in 2012 to provide small business owners with the tools needed to take their companies to the next level. With the most recent class, the alumni roster at the College now exceeds 600.
The graduates — some of whom are pictured below — represent a variety of industries and businesses across the region. The list includes a century-old gear manufacturer and emerging tech companies; a chocolatier and health clubs; accounting firms and a nanny placement center.
“That’s the beauty of the program: There’s no ‘one’ type of business it targets,” said Andrew Rainey of Randy’s Pickles, who graduated from the program in 2017. “Even though we all do different things, we all experience the same sort of problems.”
10KSB helps them find solutions to those problems. Reports show that program graduates across the country see their businesses far exceed national averages in revenue growth and job creation. Positive results usually occur within six months.
The program is designed for businesses seeking an extra spark. Participants may come from fledgling companies finding their way, established operations that hit a plateau or long-running family businesses in the midst of a transition.
Whatever the background, they work toward the same goal: the creation of a growth plan built from a business and management curriculum designed by Babson College, a top-ranked school for entrepreneurial education.
The program runs for 12 weeks. Participants commit approximately 120 hours to in-person sessions and another 60 to 80 hours outside of class to shape the future of their business.
Setting aside the time — a precious commodity to a small business owner — is a critical component of the course. Participants say that the program allows them to step aside from the day-to-day grind and analyze their operation.
“When you’re in the middle of running things, sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture,” said 2016 grad Covesa Gragg of Covesa Kelly Events. “This gives you the perspective you need to grow.”
The 10KSB program at Tri-C is one of only 17 in the nation. In November, the College announced a continuation of the program that builds on the longstanding and successful partnership between Tri-C and Goldman Sachs.
That means more access to the business education, financial capital and support services that drive success, said William Gary, executive vice president of the College’s Workforce, Community and Economic Development division.
“Every business, no matter the size, adds to the economic vitality of Northeast Ohio,” Gary said. “Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses represents Tri-C’s commitment to strengthening the region storefront by storefront and shop by shop.
“This is a best-in-class curriculum, and we’re using it to make a difference that will pay dividends for years to come.”
April 16, 2019
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org