A major benefit of Universal Unilink membership is access to an amazing network of entrepreneurs and strategic partners who share knowledge and assist with challenges. Thank you to Member Bill Muske who provided information about an exciting program for small business made a major impact on his business. Best of all, the program is FREE and designed especially for the busy owner who wants to grow.
Bill describes the program as an “MBA for small business owners” with access to practical business education, expert advice from business professionals and business support services. Just 6 months after completing the program, 67.2% of participants increased revenue and at 18 months, 73.7% grew. Compare this growth to the fact that in 2017, only 38% of small business owners surveyed said revenue had increased in the last year.1
“Small businesses account for the majority of American jobs and they are engines of innovation and new ideas.” says Michael Bloomberg, New York City Mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP. Yet growth and profitability can be elusive. What every entrepreneur needs is a partner able to educate and connect to resources and networks. The 10,000 Small Businesses program may be the partner your business needs.
10,000 Small Businesses is an initiative launched in 2009 by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation that pledges $500 million in assistance to small businesses in the United States. The initiative aims to provide 10,000 small businesses with help – ranging from business and management education and mentoring to access to capital and business support services.
Practical Business Education
Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the 10,000 Small Businesses curriculum focuses on practical skills that small business managers can immediately put into action within their company. Over the course of the program, small business owners will gain the skills needed to recognize new opportunities, embrace practices that increase business growth and ultimately develop a customized growth plan for their business.
The curriculum is organized into nine modules and four clinics geared around small business management training, each of which includes classroom discussion, peer learning exercises, skill building and experiential applications. Classroom activities are complemented by an integrated portfolio of business services, including: one-on-one business advice, legal and financial clinics, and networking opportunities.
Access to Capital
The program shows small business owners how to become more bankable and position themselves to access small business funding and capital. Through partnerships with local, regional and national Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other mission-driven small business lenders (Capital Partners), loans are available to qualifying small businesses that lack access to affordable capital or may not qualify for traditional sources of credit.
Loan applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, independent of acceptance into the business and management education program.
A Supportive Network of Advisors and Peers
Participants will receive one-on-one business advising and the opportunity to learn from other like-minded business owners. The 10,000 Small Businesses program provides this expert advice and technical assistance through partnerships with national and local business organizations and professional services firms.
To date nationally, the program has reached thousands of small business owners across 14 US education sites and through the online initiative. Approximately 70% of participants report increasing their revenues just six months after graduating and approximately 50% of participants report creating net new jobs in this same time period. Eighty-five percent of program alumni do business with each other, demonstrating the power of the peer-to-peer network created in the 10,000 Small Businesses classroom.
Applying to the Program
10,000 Small Businesses is designed for business owners who have a business poised for growth and are passionate about growing their business, creating jobs in their communities and who generally meet these criteria:
- Small business owner or small business co-owner
- Business in operation for at least two years
- Business revenues over $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year
- Business with a minimum of four employees (including the owner)
If that describes you, apply to the program at www.10ksbapply.com.