Beth Colosimo Entrepreneurship Program Executive Director for Salt Lake Community College recently hosted a zoom meeting to introduce The Goldman Sachs Foundations push to train small business entrepreneurs in rural areas hosted by the Economic Development Corporations of Utah (EDCUtah). Along with training comes access to capital investment partners through the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
Assisting with the zoom was Deb Bilbao, coordinator of the Global Business Center at the Miller Business Resource Center at SLCC. Bilbao is also outreach manager for the 10,000 Small Businesses program.
Over 10,000 businesses have been through the training programs in the 10 years the foundation has been in existence. Funded by a $½ billion dollar commitment from the banking company Goldman Sachs, the program has operated in 14 cities across the nation so far, including Salt Lake City.
According to Colosimo, the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled the foundation to expand through online forums into rural partnerships with those who in normal circumstances would not be able to make it to Salt Lake for training.
The banking giant has seen fit to commit an additional ½ billion dollars to this latest outreach. All of that is intended to train and develop a rural economy and provide those businesses completing the training, access to investment bankers and venture capitalists.
The 10K Small Business Program is not for startups. This program is intended to make existing businesses better trained for growth. It is aimed at companies with 2 to 150 employees. The businesses must be representative of their community and have at least $75,000 in annual earnings.
The course work is not taught by professors but subject matter experts. These are business professionals with access to local partners that will provide more than just information. These leads are intended to help the businesses make real world connections in order to expand their rural businesses into being able to provide their goods or services to a greater audience.
If you are the owner or co-owner of a business that has been in operation for 2 years or longer, are employing between 2 and 150 people, and your business is earning $75,000 per year this is definitely something that can be life changing.
By training and helping to develop existing businesses with a track record the investors the Goldman Sachs foundation are lining up feel they are taking less risk with their money. And bear in mind that not everyone who applies makes it into the program let alone finishes it. Colosimo revealed that only 30-40 businesses will be selected for the program.