business owners

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you ready to take your small business to the next level, but not quite sure how to do so? Thanks to the Goldman Sachs Foundation, entrepreneurs across America have an amazing opportunity through the 10,000 Small Businesses program. 10,000 Small Businesses gives growth-oriented entrepreneurs the tools they need to create jobs and economic opportunity.

10,000 Small Businesses has three components: education, business support services and access to capital. Here’s how the program works:

  1. Education: Participants follow a national curriculum designed and delivered in partnership with Babson College, the nation’s leading entrepreneurship education institute. Partnering with other small business owners for peer learning, they learn skills they can put to use immediately. The 100-hour curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including accounting, marketing and human resources.
  2. Business support services: Through partnerships with local governments and economic development organizations, participants receive expert advice, one-on-one business advising, and technical assistance from business professionals.

Throughout the program, entrepreneurs remain in the same classroom groups (called “cohorts”) and learn from each other. They can also join a 10,000 Small Businesses alumni network; more than 87% of alumni continue working together post-graduation.

A whopping 98.5% of the business owners who start the 10,000 Small Businesses program complete it. That’s amazing, because participants must commit approximately 100 hours to in-person sessions and at least that many hours working on their growth plans outside of class. When busy business owners devote that much time to a program, it’s clear they see its value.

So far, approximately 7,000 small business owners nationwide have completed the program. Here are some of the benefits they’ve enjoyed:

  • six months after completing the program, 67.2% of program alumni reported revenue growth.
  • At 30 months, 77.8% of alumni increased revenues.
  • 47.1% of business owners report job growth within six months of completing the program.
  • At 30 months out, 56.5% of participants had added new jobs.
  • At 30 months out, the approval rate increases to 79.7%.

10,000 Small Businesses program is designed for established businesses that are seeking guidance and resources to grow. To be considered, applicants must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs in their community
  • Be owner or co-owner of the business
  • Have been in operation for at least two years
  • Have revenues above $150,000 in their most recent fiscal year
  • Have a minimum of four employees (including the owner/s)

If you live in the Southern California area, good news: 10,000 Small Businesses is currently accepting applications for three upcoming cohorts in 2019 to be held at Long Beach City College and Los Angeles City College.

  • The deadline to apply for the Los Angeles City College cohort is November 15, 2018, and the program begins on March 15, 2019.
  • The deadline to apply for the Long Beach City College cohort is December 19, 2018, and the program begins on April 5, 2019.
  • Apply here or call 562-938-5054.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get expert help growing your business to the next level!

Want expert help starting or growing your business, but don’t have the time to commit to 10,000 Small Businesses? Whatever stage your business is in (or even if it’s just an idea), The Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center (LA SBDC) can help. Get confidential advice from business experts at no cost,  or attend affordable workshops on all aspects of entrepreneurship.  Visit the LA SBDC website ( ) to find an advising center near you, or call 866-588-SBDC.

Business owner help stock photo by Arthimedes/Shutterstock