Local business owners graduate from Goldman Sachs '10,000 Small Businesses' Baltimore program

The program provides entrepreneurs with business education, support services, and access to capital

A group of people seated

Image caption: Two cohorts of small business owners who participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Baltimore program graduated Monday during a ceremony at R. House in Remington

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Nearly 70 entrepreneurs graduated today from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Baltimore program, which provides small business owners with practical business education, support services, and access to capital to help them build their businesses and create jobs and revenue growth.

After Hopkins hosted a successful pilot session, program partners Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies made a $10 million investment to make Baltimore a permanent site of the 10,000 Small Businesses program. The site officially launched in August 2017, with recruitment and educational support provided by the Community College of Baltimore County and by Morgan State University. The Baltimore site of 10,000 Small Businesses is the first location of the national program to partner with a four-year institution and a Historically Black College or University.

Among the 69 entrepreneurs to graduate today were bakers, artisans, engineers, contractors, dentists, and physical therapists. Today's ceremony, which took place at R. House in Remington, brings the number of graduates from the Baltimore location to more than 125. The program's curriculum includes more than 100 hours of practical, peer-learning education focusing on financial management, negotiations, marketing, and other business principles.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen with a box of berries and LaQuicha Brown

Image caption: LaQuicha Brown, owner of the small business Berries by Quicha, presents a box of her specialty chocolate covered strawberries to Sen. Chris Van Hollen (left)

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

"One of the most gratifying aspects of working with 10,000 Small Businesses is knowing that we are empowering individuals to enhance their lives and communities through their work," says Kylie Patterson, director of economic inclusion at Johns Hopkins. "Helping business owners to find success and to thrive helps strengthen Baltimore City from the ground up."

The program itself translates into quantifiable successes for small business owners. A recent report on the program shows that 67 percent of participants increased revenue just six months after graduation, with that number rising to 78 percent after 30 months post-graduation. Nearly half of all graduates went on to create new jobs six months after graduation. By comparison, in the same time period, national data suggests fewer than half of small businesses increased revenue, and only 25 percent added new jobs.

Entrepreneurs who apply and are selected to take part in the program benefit from a network of educational partners that work together to manage program operations and provide business resources. Johns Hopkins hosts the classes and manages all participant engagement once they are accepted into the program and after graduation, when they join a national network of more than 6,000 alumni. Those alumni, that same report shows, overwhelmingly continue to work together after graduation to create a lasting regional marketplace.

The ceremony was attended by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen; Catherine Pugh, mayor of Baltimore; John F.W. Rogers, executive vice president of Goldman Sachs; and Kevin Sheekey, global head for external relations of Bloomberg L.P. Kevin Frick, vice dean for education and professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School provided graduation remarks.

Learn more or apply to the program.

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