Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LBCC

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Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LBCC

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Long Beach City College is a program for small businesses that links learning to action.  Through the program, participants will gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management that can immediately be put into action.  In addition, they will receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level.

Across the U.S., 10,000 Small Businesses graduates are increasing their revenues and creating new jobs in their communities:

  • 63% of participants reported an increase in revenues
  • 47% reported creating new jobs
  • 76% are doing business with each other
  • The program also has a 99% completion rate

Education for Business Growth / Curriculum

Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the curriculum focuses on practical skills and participants can immediately put into action within their company.  Over the course of the program small business owners will gain the skills needed to recognize new opportunities, embrace practices that increase business growth and ultimately develop a customized growth plan for their business.

The curriculum is organized into 9 modules, each of which includes classroom discussion, peer learning exercises, skill building and experiential applications.  Classroom activities are complemented by an integrated portfolio of business services, including: one-on-one business advice, legal and financial clinics, and networking opportunities.

Module 1: You and Your Business 

Identify growth goals for the business
The opening module will introduce small business owners to the program and the growth plan they will be working toward.  After meeting the faculty, business service providers and fellow small business owners, participants will immediately begin working with their peers and participate in exercises that stretch their visions for growth.  We’ll discuss the predictable and unpredictable problems associated with growing a business and help participants identify which specific metrics are best for measuring their business’s success.

Module 2: Growth and Opportunities.

 Refine and articulate the business growth opportunity 
During our second module we will introduce techniques for identifying and creating opportunities for business growth.  Participants will identify sources of innovation for their businesses; develop, analyze and understand the competitive landscape for their businesses and industries; and learn how to determine if a new business concept is a “good idea” or a viable business opportunity.

Clinic: Financial Statements
This hands-on session is designed to help participants become more comfortable with the three basic financial statements and how to understand and interpret key numbers.  In preparation for module three, participants will have the opportunity to conduct a financial analysis.

Module 3: Money and Metrics

Develop and forecast financial statements for growth
Financial literacy is essential to growing a business.  In this module we will build on the fundamentals of financial statement design and construction.  Participants will then assess their business’s financial and operational realities and develop analyses and forecasting methods to best plan and monitor their business’s growth. 

Clinic: You Are the Lender
Participants will take a step into the lender’s shoes to evaluate small business loan applications.  We will show participants the red flags that lenders look for, and help them prepare the necessary numbers and documents for a loan application.  The clinic will also include a panel session with local lenders to answer specific small business questions. 

Module 4: You are the Leader.  

Develop and enhance leadership skills 
Most small business owners are looking to step out of the day-to-day operations of their business to become a more strategic and effective leader.  In this module participants will gain a better understanding of how their personal leadership style influences their team and business, and then identify opportunities to enhance or adjust their approach to achieve even stronger business results.

Clinic: Negotiations 
Knowing when to stand your ground and when to budge can make a good deal great.  In this clinic participants will learn the dynamics of negotiation and develop effective strategies to create value through collaboration. 

Module 5: It’s the People 

Build and sustain a healthy organization 
“It’s the people” focuses on developing employees and building an organization that can both support growth and sustain the participant’s vision for their company.  In addition to recruiting and hiring best practices, we offer advice on how to develop a positive business culture that reflects the values and goals of the small business owner.

Clinic: Legal 
Local attorneys will discuss the basics of employment law and advise small business owners on how to protect themselves during the hiring and firing process.  Participants will also have the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with an attorney to address their current legal questions.

Module 6: Marketing and Selling 

Understand your customers’ needs 
Growth can only occur with a strong marketing and sales effort.  This module focuses on understanding customers’ needs, target markets and the competition.  We will study the fundamentals of sales and marketing and discuss how to develop and execute an effective marketing plan.  This highly interactive module also includes exercise to help participants prepare and deliver a sales pitch and a panel of experts to discuss social media-based marketing..

Module 7: Operations and Processes 

Increase operational efficiencies; improve profitability
Processes are central to everything a business does.  In this module participants will evaluate their current operational processes, including workflow and logistics, to better understand and map key components of their business’s operations.  Participants will also learn how to empower employers to take responsibility for certain processes through operations.

Module 8: Being Bankable. 

Financing growth
In this module we review the different types of financing available to small businesses, and help participants understand which funding sources are most appropriate for their business.  We discuss the value of maintaining important financing relationships with local institutions and help participants become more “bankable.”  In addition to examining the intricacies of raising capital, we take a step back to provide guidance on how to assess and value their company and the resources required for future business growth.

Module 9: Action for Growth. 

Sharing the growth plan
During the final session of the 10,000 Small Businesses curriculum, participants will have the opportunity to present their growth plans and receive feedback from their business advisors and peers as they hone and prepare to implement their strategies.  In this session we will discuss the role of external business advisors (e.g., mentors, consultants, advisory boards) and introduce the program’s alumni program.  We will also revisit possible exit strategies and provide guidance on how to choose among and execute an exit strategy.

Download Curriculum PDF

Access to Capital

Small business owners learn how to become more bankable and position their businesses to access financing and capital.  Through partnerships with local, regional and national Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) and other mission-driven small business lenders “Capital Partners”, loans are available to qualifying small businesses that lack access to affordable capital or may not qualify for traditional sources of credit.  Loan applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, independent of acceptance into the business and management education program. 

To apply for a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses loan through VEDC, visit this website: https://vedc.org/

A Network of Support

Participants will receive one-on-one business advising and the opportunity to learn from other like-minded business owners.  The program provides this expert advice and technical assistance through partnerships with national and local business organizations, professional service firms and the people of Goldman Sachs.

To help put learning to work, business owners will be provided with a suite of business support services that offer practical advice and guidance outside of the classroom.  These include:

Business Assessments:  At the start of the program, business advisors will work with business owners to assess growth opportunities, identify competitive threats, and target critical objectives that must be accomplished to enable growth.  Objectives may include creating marketing plans, realigning organizational structure, hiring staff or improving aspects of operations or administration – HR practices, accounting, management information, production efficiency, etc.

One-on-One Business Advisory Services:  Advisors will coach scholars on the creation of growth plans that incorporate lessons from the coursework.  Select participants who would benefit from analytical support will have an opportunity to engage the program’s advisors to help jump-start implementation of a particular aspect of their Growth Plans. 

Professional Services Reviews:  Professional services reviews are meant to assist businesses in legal, tax, and accounting matters.  For example, is the owner’s business a properly formed legal entity? Have the owners taken steps to effectively manage legal liability? Do they have proper procedures for complying with relevant laws and regulations? Do they have effective/efficient financial and managerial accounting systems? Do they optimize tax treatments to minimize tax liabilities?  Services will begin with a clinic that covers basics on an informational basis to be followed by specialized clinics.

Mentoring:  Mentors will be available to provide coaching in specific areas, such as leadership or strategic planning, helping participants to become more executive as they grow their businesses and further delegate responsibilities.  The mentors will help business owners to focus on the issues of greatest importance, share best practices, frame effective strategy and drive sustainable growth by building business capacity. 

Procurement Assistance: For scholars whose businesses offer products or services for which there is a government market, procurement assistance will help them to compete effectively in the government procurement process. Topics covered would be creating effective proposals and navigating the technicalities of the procurement process.

Government Contracting and Incentives:  These services will help scholars to understand the various government incentive programs that can help a business improve its bottom line, the regulations that govern different industries and aspects of business management and how to effectively work with government entities to resolve issues and improve business conditions.

Networking opportunities:  The program recognizes that business opportunities are often identified through relationships with other business people and that opportunities can be best pursued when a business has a wide range of contacts that it can draw upon. Therefore the program will create opportunities for participants to network with each other, and it will create networking opportunities with bankers, business associations and other groups that will help scholars make the connections they need to more effectively pursue business growth.

Program Timelines

Applicants must: 

  • Be prepared, if selected as a finalist, to attend a mandatory 20-minute in-person interview at Long Beach Community College District on a pre-specified date.
  • Commit to attending all learning sessions.
  • Commit to completing homework in advance of each session and to participating in business advisory, mentoring and related services between classes.  This commitment totals approximately six to eight hours per week.
  • Commit to completing a Growth Plan prior to the final class.

Applications are still being accepted for Cohort 4 and on an on-going basis for future Cohorts.  Candidates will be evaluated for each cohort as space becomes available with the opening of new Cohort sessions.  Please check back regularly for 2012 program enrollment periods.

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