Goldman Sachs program helps Southern California small businesses thrive

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

(photo credit: bunchofpants)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past decade, in California, you’d know small businesses have been keeping the state’s economy alive.

Still don’t believe it? Here are some cold hard facts from the California Small Business Development Center:

  •          6,962 new jobs created by small companies in 2012
  •          929 new businesses started in 2012
  •          $382 million new capital secured by small firms to fuel growth, invest in innovation and grow California’s workforce

It’s part of the reason why Goldman Sachs invested $500 million to support small businesses, throughout the nation, with its 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. Long Beach City College and Los Angeles City College were selected as part of the programs when it launched in 2010.

“It gives business owners, in the Southern California region, an opportunity to be able to get the technical assistance, the business advisor services and then work with the Small Business Development Center Network in the L.A. region, to further grow their business,” said Vivian Shimoyama, Regional Executive Director Southern California Region, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

Since 2010, between the two community colleges, over 300 businesses have graduated from the program.

Right now, LBCC is currently selecting its 10th Cohort, or class of participants, which can be as large as 40 business owners or CEO’s.

“This is a very hands-on curriculum where we work with business owners who are at that very critical stage of growth. We’ve seen exponential growth with graduates of this program.”

Business owners go through 11 sessions that combine business education, access to capital and business support services.

But what differentiates this program from any others, is the focus on a company’s financial books.

“We get them very focused on their metrics, their financial statements, their 3 to 5 year forecast—we have two modules called money and metrics—and many of our alumni, time and time again, said that focus has really been key for them,” said Shimoyama.

“This program helps business owners clearly understand their current financial situation, build an infrastructure and show them, not only that vision for growth, but also a very detailed forecast of how they’re going to get there.”

But don’t just take it from her.

“Participating in the GS 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative has trained me to go back to the basics of business and to effectively assess my operations. After 25 years in the business, this program has given me the tools with which to move to the next level,” said Lillian Gomez, President of Baker, Romero & Associates Insurance Brokers, Inc.

“The 10,000 Small Businesses Program provides business owners with real life information, tools, and the contacts to make growth happen,” said Carol Beckerman, President/Creative Director of Med Art.

In fact, “53% of grads reported increase in their revenues and 47 percent have reported creating new jobs and that’s what the state needs, it’s what we need.”

“Goldman Sachs’ 10K Small Businesses program presented the framework that allowed me to look at my business from a different perspective, provided the tools to grow and manage it more effectively, facilitated my transformation from a COO to a CEO position and gave me the skills to become the leader of the company. This in turn resulted in the single largest growth experienced at our company,” said Katalin Van Over, CEO of ProLogic IT.

As part of the California Economic Summit, regions identified increased investment in local businesses and economies as a key component of triple-bottom-line prosperity: economy, environment and social equity.

“We are focusing on building up the entrepreneurial eco-system. The California Economic Summit helps us to help us to focus on the regional side. Business growth means job creation, it means increased revenue,” said Shimoyama, also a Summit Advisory Committee Member.

“Working with the Summit gets us all on the same path of how do we grow these businesses to create jobs and give back to our community,” said Shimoyama.

The second annual California Economic Summit, sponsored by California Forward and the California Stewardship Network is in Los Angeles November 8.


Cheryl Getuiza

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