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eMacomb - Featured Article, Summer 2016

10,000 Small Businesses program is accepting new applications

Five years ago, the Goldman Sachs Foundation made a commitment to help grow businesses across the U.S.  The result is the 10,000 Small Businesses program, which offers business and management education as well as direct support services designed to address the specific needs of each participating business.  The program is offered at no cost to those selected to participate in the program.

In just a few short years, the results of the program on a national basis are significant:

  • The majority of participants (76 percent) increased their revenues within 18 months after graduation from the program; 64 percent increased revenues within six months of completing the program.
  • Fifty-seven percent of participants reported adding new jobs; 45 percent created new jobs within six months of completing the program.

Better yet, results of the program demonstrate that the positive impact is even stronger in Southeast Michigan.

Jill Bommarito, owner of gourmet gluten-free snacks and desserts baking company Ethel's Edibles of St. Clair Shores, is a graduate of the program. 

“For me, the very biggest thing was the ability to get away from the business and work on it,” says Bommarito.  “Knowing the numbers, human capital, understanding how to decrease turnover, understanding how to get people to want to work with your company, what makes your company valuable, how to communicate your vision, your mission. I never thought about those things before.”

Since graduating from the 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2014 and, more recently, a follow-up coaching session with professionals from Bloomberg L.P. and Goldman Sachs employees, Ethel’s Edibles has tripled revenues, doubled its production space, hired three full-time employees and reduced the cost of goods sold by 30 percent. Bommarito has also signed up with major food distribution partners. Ethel’s Edibles products are sold in 13 states and Bommarito is exploring the possibility of expanding a gluten-free savory product line.

The new cohort for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will begin in late fall.  The program is based on the peer-to-peer learning model and focuses on Business-to-Business (B2B) connectivity, developing a tangible growth plan, access to capital from Goldman Sachs and others, mentoring and access to a national network of more than 5,100 alumni.

The first step for a business that would like to get involved is to complete an online application.