Over the past year, Johns Hopkins University has played an integral role in bringing a nationwide program designed to boost small businesses to Baltimore and helping it flourish.
Today, program partners Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a five-year, $10 million commitment to continue the program in Baltimore and named JHU the host site.
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program aims to increase economic opportunities by giving entrepreneurs a practical business education, support services, and access to capital. To date, more than 6,300 small business owners have participated in the program at 14 sites across the U.S.
The Johns Hopkins site, which will welcome a new cohort of 30 small-business owners beginning in November, is the first in Maryland. The closest current program site is in Philadelphia.
"Small businesses make up the majority of American jobs. They're engines of innovation and new ideas, and they form the backbone of successful cities," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and a 1964 Johns Hopkins University graduate. "We should do everything we can to help them grow, which is why we are extending our support for the 10,000 Small Businesses program here in Baltimore."
Johns Hopkins has hosted two special sessions of a 10,000 Small Businesses pilot program over the past six months. Fifty-nine participants, selected from an applicant pool of 150 candidates, were recognized today during an event at Baltimore's Center Stage theater. Baltimore program graduates included owners of restaurants and food service businesses, architectural firms and construction companies, apparel shops and beauty services.
Program organizers cited the success of the special sessions as a factor in the decision to formally launch the program in Baltimore. It has the potential, they say, to play a critical role in the success of the city's small business ecosystem.
In addition to serving as the host site, Johns Hopkins supported outreach and recruitment for the pilot program through the BLocal initiative, an effort by Johns Hopkins and 24 other Baltimore-area businesses and organizations to help create economic opportunities in the city. BLocal was inspired by HopkinsLocal, Johns Hopkins' $69 million pledge to build, hire, and buy locally to support Baltimore companies owned by women and minorities.
"Johns Hopkins was thrilled to serve as the initial host and recruiting arm of the special session of the 10,000 Small Businesses program in Baltimore," Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said. "This is what HopkinsLocal and BLocal are all about—identifying talented local businesses and matching them with opportunities for growth and job creation. Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies have made an incredible commitment to building and supporting small businesses in cities across the country, and it is a testament to the entrepreneurial people graduating today that Baltimore has been selected to continue."
In Baltimore, the program will be co-administered by Johns Hopkins along with educational partners from Morgan State University and the Community College of Baltimore County. These partners will work with local organizations to encourage owners of small businesses to apply.
Speakers at today's graduation event included representatives from all three schools as well as Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, philanthropist and businessman Warren Buffet, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
"Baltimore is an enterprising city, and we are grateful to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Bloomberg Philanthropies for choosing to invest in our local entrepreneurs," Pugh said. "Through this commitment, we look forward to accelerating their potential not only as business owners, but also as job creators and community leaders."
The 10,000 Small Businesses program is offered free of charge. The 100-hour curriculum, which consists of 11 full-day class sessions, includes instruction on identifying and capitalizing on growth opportunities, setting goals and measuring progress, stepping out of day-to-day operations to assume a leadership role, and understanding financing options, among other topics. The program also features one-on-one business advising and accounting workshops.
Approximately 70 percent of participants report increasing their revenues just six months after graduating, and approximately 50 percent of participants report creating net new jobs in this same time period.
"The success of the initial classes of 10,000 Small Businesses in Baltimore demonstrates that small business owners here are eager to get access to tools that will help their businesses grow," Blankfein said. "Thanks to the support of Mayor Pugh and Gov. Hogan, this co-investment with Bloomberg Philanthropies will enable even more small businesses to create jobs and contribute further to the local economy."
Anyone interested in applying can find more information at 10ksbapply.com/baltimore. Eligible business should have annual revenues above $100,000, have been in operation for at least two years, have at least two full-time employees, and have the potential to grow and create jobs.
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