We at the UMLF would like to wish everyone a happy and successful 2019! We couldn’t do what we do without our generous funders, partners in the community, and most importantly our amazing clients. As this new year is about to begin, I would like to reflect on 2018 and what we have accomplished over this past year.
Here is a list of some of the highlights:
As we look to 2019 a few of our goals include:
It has been a privilege to lead this organization for the past two years. I am constantly grateful for my amazing staff, supportive Board of Trustees, and our hard-working clients. Here's to 2019!
Danielle Lower | Executive Director
Utah Microloan Fund
We think it's no secret that the UMLF loves small business. From the very first steps of getting an idea off the ground to growing a business into a full blow enterprise. This journey for some entrepreneurs can be scary and make even the strongest business owner feel unsure at times. That is why we love the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. This program is designed for business owners who have a business poised for growth. They look for applicants who are passionate about growing their business, creating jobs in their communities and who generally meet the below criteria:
Sound like a dream come true for your business? Keep reading! We sat down with Executive Director Beth Colosimo to learn more about the program and why YOU should apply by December 18th!
UMLF: Tell us about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. When and where did it start? How has the program grown since? How is UT fairing among the cohorts?
Beth: GS10KSB is supported by the Goldman Sachs Foundation in New York. It was created to fill a gap GS saw in the marketplace, support for small businesses to help them grow. From that desire to help small businesses 10ksb was created. The 3 pillars of the program are: 1) access to education 2) access to resources 3) access to capital. GS partnered with Babson College, who created the curriculum and learning modules and community colleges across the country. During the course, small business owners are exposed to the core areas needed to help small businesses increase revenue and hire more employees, such as financial workshops—knowing your numbers, marketing, leadership, hiring, operations and processes.
Utah was the 8th site launched in 2012. We’ve trained more than 500 small business owners from St George to Logan, Vernal to Price. Our alumni network is very strong and meets regularly. We have one of the most seasoned teams of advisors and faculty who work with the scholars during and after the program. There are 14 sites across the country and a national blended site that meets virtually and twice back in Boston at Babson College, the curriculum creator.
UMLF: Beth tell us about your background? What started your love for small business?
Beth: I worked in corporate America for most of my career and grew tired of the politics and mis-management. I opened my own business in 2004 and became a full-blown entrepreneur, taking many risks and learning thru the school of hard knocks. I realized how hard it can be. I developed a love of small businesses having walked in those shoes for 6 years and realizing what it takes
UMLF: Tell us about some of your favorites businesses that have gone through the cohort and why they caught your fancy?
Beth: There are SO many. I love the women-owned businesses that buck the stereotypes in male dominated industries like construction, machining and manufacturing. I love seeing business owners enter the class with little to no confidence, and graduate with a whole new lease on life and business growth, having gained knowledge and support for their enterprises. I love visiting their businesses or seeing their success on facebook and business publications, knowing we may have played a small part in their success.
UMLF: What would you tell a business owner who is ready to take the next step in their career but hesitant to apply?
Beth: Take advantage of all the learning you can. Recognize that ALL small business owners have or are in your shoes of fear and hesitation. Set aside this important time to work on your business. Give yourself the gift of exploring how to do what you do on a bigger and more efficient level. Tell yourself you can’t afford NOT to do this for the success of your company
UMLF: Biggest learning experience or take away from directing the program?
Beth: How difficult it is to convince small businesses to step away and work on their business. How many moving parts there are to a complex program like this and what it takes to consistently deliver a very high quality, well-run program and organization. But the biggest learning experience is the significance 10KSB plays in truly impacting the growth of graduation companies. The results are stunning.
UMLF: How do you feel like the Utah Microloan Fund and 10,000 Small Businesses work together?
Beth: We teach business owners that without capital, they can’t grow. We find that many are not knowledgeable about the UMLF and what a terrific option it can be for many. We believe all small businesses need to have multiple capital resources and should network with and know their options even if they aren’t in a position or have a need immediately.
UMLF: Since it’s almost the new year, any personal goals for 2019 you would like to share?
Beth: I’d like to figure out how to reach more business owners to inform them about this program. There are over 33,000 small businesses just in Salt Lake County. We haven’t scratched the surface. I also believe there are many along the entire state who could benefit from the program. I want to ensure we maintain this important program in Utah.
If you would like to apply for the next cohort, don't delay! Apply now at www.10ksbapply.com.
Everything Utah is a gift store that fosters an appreciation for Utah by providing treasures and keepsakes that honor the memories made in our great state. It is your one-stop shop for locally-made products including handcrafted jewelry, collectibles, fine art, books, artifacts, geological treasures, Utah-branded clothing and gear and lastly the best selection of chocolates, candies, salt water taffy and pure Utah honies. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs to take home or are a life-long Utahn, Everything Utah is here for you! In honor of the holiday season we have chosen Everything Utah as our December small business of the month! We sat down with owner and Utah enthusiast Mary Lindsey to hear more about why she loves our fabulous state.
UMLF: Mary tell us about yourself. What’s your background? What made you want to start Everything Utah?
Mary: I love this amazing state of Utah. This wonderful place has been fertile ground for me to grow and develop myself and enable me to continue to become the woman, mother, and community member whom I want to be. I love the people of Utah, honor our state, and I love the gifts of Mother Nature which are here for us. I want to provide an experience for locals to be able to be able to enjoy and support our own identity while also giving visitors an authentic immersion into what's good about Utah.
UMLF: Every business has its high and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Mary: The greatest challenge thus far has been that there are a few “haters” if you will. Individuals who mistreat our space, steal or demand more than is reasonable for sustainability. I do want to say that this is not a lot of our customers but it hurts when it does occur. For a long time local businesses have been losing ground and brave entrepreneurs who are creating, financing, working, offering, are putting it all out there to sustain and enrich communities. We are thankful to visitors and locals alike that appreciate and support our store.
UMLF: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey?
Mary: My advice is to be willing to be humble in your initial offering. Roll it out with confidence and confidence. “Never play small” but remain grateful and humble in all that you are fortunate to have vision of and stewardship over.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped you and your business?
Mary: Shortly after opening Everything Utah at our former Gateway location I learned about the UMLF. I applied for a small loan to allow Everything Utah’s offerings to be expanded and more widely known. I received support, counsel, vital critiques and feedback as I presented my intentions for Everything Utah. In doing so I learned not only how to request funding, but it also solidified my vision and hope for Everything Utah. Being able to follow a proven system which has been lovingly and professionally developed to support and grow businesses is amazing. This ultimately create strong, supportive, and viable and I dare say more welcoming and sustainable communities.
UMLF: What are some of your favorite getaways in Utah?
Mary: I love to go down to Moab with our family and enjoy hikes off the beaten path with our daughter Kelley. She has so much to share from a local’s point of view and is a nurse and a guide of many fun activities in Moab. I recommend the Moab Adventure Center and that personalized type of connection with the area. Brighton and Snowbird resorts are also family favorites here along the Wasatch no matter what season. There is amazing scenery, hikes, skiing, snowboarding, accommodations and tasty food.
UMLF: Do you have any fun gifts for the holidays that you recommend?
Mary: Everything Utah Charcuterie Boards are really popular and justifiably so. They are adorable, practical and everyone loves them. So gift away with these locally-crafted Utah shaped charcuterie boards knowing that you be the sharing the life of the party for holiday gatherings and celebrations to come. Here is a tip, stop by Everything Utah request your charcuterie board, there are four designs to choose from. Head over to Western Nut Company and check out their amazing selection and grab a little bag of your favorite nuts to share with the board. Next pick up Heber Valley Cheese or Beehive Cheese from your favorite cheese monger and some Creminelli meats with a jar of jam from Everything Utah.