NEW YORK – Goldman Sachs on April 1 hosted a graduation of small business owners from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, a $500 million initiative to unlock the growth and job-creation potential of small businesses across the United States by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The 18 graduates participated in the first all female cohort designed—in partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation—specifically for early stage businesses with the desire and potential for growth. Goldman Sachs President Gary D. Cohn joined prominent female entrepreneurs Tory Burch and Arianna Huffington and LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow at the ceremony to congratulate the business owners.
“Empowered through entrepreneurship, the women graduating today demonstrate the positive impact small business growth can have on their communities,” said Gary D. Cohn. “We are pleased to work with leading women entrepreneurs like Tory Burch and Arianna Huffington to help America’s small business owners grow and create jobs.”
The 10,000 Small Businesses partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation combines the program’s business and management education with the Tory Burch Foundation’s networking and micro lending expertise. The women who graduated today represent a wide variety of industries and businesses including apparel, design, food and beverage. The curriculum, which was delivered by LaGuardia Community College faculty and co-designed by Babson College, covered topics such as accounting, marketing, leadership and growth opportunities and included ties to business support services.
“We are proud to support this groundbreaking program that is an investment in our collective future,” said Tory Burch, CEO and designer of Tory Burch LLC. “I believe that by providing a platform that enriches the capacity of promising women entrepreneurs to achieve their visions, we empower entire communities.”
Goldman Sachs has also partnered with the Huffington Post to highlight success stories and partnerships related to 10,000 Small Businesses. The partnership was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos and in an op-ed by Arianna Huffington and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein published on the Huffington Post. Today, the Huffington Post announced a dedicated 10,000 Small Businesses section on HuffingtonPost.com called “What is Working,” which focuses on the productive and inspiring stories from entrepreneurs around the world. The page can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/what-is-working-small-businesses
“The 18 women business owners we celebrate tonight embody the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that have always defined us as a country,” said Arianna Huffington, chair, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. “I’m delighted that HuffPost is joining forces with Goldman Sachs to help to start conversations about small business, combining the power of HuffPost’s platform with the great work 10,000 Small Businesses has already done to connect small business owners with the resources, opportunities and advice that can help them grow.”
“This program is having a direct impact on helping early stage business owners possess the tools and skills they need to expand their businesses and create jobs,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College. “LaGuardia is proud to be working with Goldman Sachs and the Tory Burch Foundation on this new and exciting endeavor that is supporting women entrepreneurs in furthering the growth of their businesses.”
10,000 Small Businesses is currently operating in Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Kentucky, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montana, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Washington/Oregon and will continue to expand to communities across the country.
For information about the business and management education program, please visit: www.laguardia.edu/10ksb.