Thirty entrepreneurs graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program on Friday, December 14, bringing the number of regional graduates to 459, a milestone for the program, which began at the Community College of Philadelphia in 2013.
The graduates of Class 17 gathered with families and friends for a ceremony at the Center for Business and Industry. Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia, Nicole Pullen Ross, managing director, Goldman Sachs’s Mid-Atlantic Region, and Sylvie Gallier Howard, first deputy director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia, all spoke. Carrie Maria, co-owner and co-founder of The Monster Minders dog-walking service, was the class speaker. Maria called the program life changing.
“So many small business owners are passionate about their projects," she said. "I love dog walking. But so many people running small businesses could benefit from basic business education. If the government really wants to drive this economy, they should have every small business owner take this course.”
Indeed, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumni are making their mark in the Philadelphia region's business community in ways big and small. When the Entrepreneurs’ Forum of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Inquirer recently unveiled the 2018 list of the Philadelphia 100—the area’s fastest-growing private companies—18 percent of the businesses, nearly one in every five, had graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.
The latest class of graduates represents a variety of industries and professions, ranging from an ice cream maker to a real estate company. Each leaves with a set of business tools and growth strategies to support them in growing their companies. They have joined other alumni small business owners who are, in many cases, working together and finding innovative ways to contribute to their local economies and create jobs.
For example, through the program, Maria developed a growth plan to move the business she runs with her husband, Lindsay, into commercial space. In addition, the couple seeks to hire new employees and increase the wages for their employees.
Nationwide, the program results reflect its profound impact on small business owners and local economies. A 2018 report by Babson College found that just six months after graduating the program, 67 percent of participants reported increasing their revenues, 47 percent of participants reported creating net new jobs and 88 percent of participants have worked or are working together with other program participants. The program maintains a 98.5 percent graduation rate.
Applications for 10,000 Small Businesses are accepted on a rolling basis at Community College of Philadelphia. The program is open to business owners from across the Greater Philadelphia region. Learn more or apply online.