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.