PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Senator Jack Reed and Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President John F.W. Rogers today celebrated the first graduation of the 10,000 Small Businesses program in Rhode Island, which expands access to capital and provides practical business education for small business owners based across Rhode Island.
Thanks to Governor Raimondo's efforts, Goldman Sachs chose Rhode Island for its first statewide launch of the initiative in March of 2016. Fifty-seven business leaders graduated today in a ceremony held at the Park Theater in Cranston.
"This program is about creating opportunity for Rhode Islanders," Raimondo said. "Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses has a proven track record of success, and I'm incredibly proud of today's graduates. This is workforce development at its best: Rhode Islanders creating jobs for Rhode Islanders. I can't wait to see what they do next."
"Thanks to the support and efforts of the Governor, the Community College of Rhode Island and our other local partners, the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative has successfully reached nearly 60 small business owners so far in Rhode Island," said John F.W. Rogers, Executive Vice President of Goldman Sachs. "We're pleased to have helped these entrepreneurs cultivate the skills that will allow them to strengthen and grow their businesses, and ultimately, their local communities and economy."
"The 10,000 Small Business initiative is a great example of what Rhode Island can accomplish when our local officials work collaboratively with our partners in the private and non-profit sectors," U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline said. "I applaud Governor Raimondo for building this innovative partnership with Goldman Sachs and for helping to grow this vital part of our economy."
Last year, 10,000 Small Businesses came to Rhode Island and launched its first statewide program. Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation committed $10 million in capital and philanthropic support to help create jobs and generate economic growth in local small businesses. The Goldman Sachs Foundation contributed $5 million towards business and management education in the state. Goldman Sachs committed an additional $5 million to address the capital needs of small businesses, complementing the Rhode Island Small Business Assistance Program.
To date nationally, 10,000 Small Businesses has reached more than 8,000 small business owners across the US and UK. Approximately 70 percent of participants have reported increasing their revenues just six months after graduating and approximately 50 percent of participants have reported creating net new jobs in this same time period. 85 percent of program scholars do business with one or more 10,000 Small Businesses alumni.
Academic partners include the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and the Rhode Island School of Design. Participants in the 10,000 Small Businesses program complete more than 100 instructional hours designed around a curriculum that includes accounting, human resources, negotiation and marketing, among other topics.
"10,000 Small Businesses is a powerful example of a true public-private partnership, and we are so proud of the impressive and diverse group of entrepreneurs who are graduating today," said Meghan Hughes, President of the Community College of Rhode Island. "Small businesses are the heart of economic growth in our state, and CCRI is honored to be the educational partner that helps these businesses grow and thrive. We're excited to see our graduates take their businesses to the next level."
Applications for the education component of the program are being accepted for the next cohort and can be downloaded at https://www.10ksbapply.com/. Classes are free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process.
Goldman Sachs has provided loan funding to an intermediary - BDC Capital - which is making loans to small businesses throughout the entire state. For information about the loan application process, please contact BDC Capital directly. Application for loans is independent and separate from application and acceptance into the education program.