With the end of 2020 approaching, there is an opportunity to reflect on the past year – with all the challenges it embodied – and to look forward to the prospects that a new year can bring. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program (10KSB) stands out as something that has had a positive impact on CAS Group over the past year and something that I highly recommend to other small businesses that want to strengthen and grow in 2021 and beyond.
For all intents and purposes, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is a condensed MBA program designed by Babson College and delivered through a network of over 90 local and national partnerships. Applicants selected for the education program receive a world-class business education and connections to a professional support network at no cost. Through the program, participants gain practical skills across topics such as financial statements negotiation, marketing, and employee management, and gain the tools to develop a customized business plan for growth.
Since graduating the 10KSB Program in April 2019, CAS Group has made significant strides in improving operations, enhancing services, and facilitating growth of our project portfolio. Our goal is to streamline and strengthen our ability to serve clients, existing and new. In this short amount of time, we have implemented a new IT system, new project management and accounting system, new website, new informational blog, as well as a new approach to marketing the value we bring to projects and clients. These initiatives were on our “to do” list and the Goldman Sachs program provided the guidance and expertise to plan and execute the path forward. We worked closely with every type of expert needed to promote success from accounting to IT, marketing, bankers, HR, legal, and much more.
The result? We are focused on what we need to do next with greater security than ever before. Even in uncertain times like 2020.
The program recently reached 10,000 graduates. I attended the celebratory event – virtually, of course – that featured Michael Blumberg, Mary Barra, David Solomon, and Warren Buffet, in his first public appearance in many months. But, far more valuable than the engagement of these titans of industry is the investment 10KSB makes across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C. to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital, and business support services.
Don’t take my word for it. Other members of my graduating class have amazing stories to tell. Many of them have expanded or shaped their services to capture new business despite the global pandemic. 10KSB equips small business owners to confidently pursue their plans or pivot to new opportunities, and they provide ongoing support even after graduation. One of my colleagues has a custom furniture design studio whose customer base was largely hotels and restaurants. As a company hard-hit by the pandemic, the pivot needed to be swift, effective, and decisive. They quickly moved into custom cabinetry for recreational vehicles (RVs) and are doing great as more people look to avoid airplane travel and vacation in the great outdoors during the pandemic.
Another inspirational example comes from a colleague who runs a small business that provides outsourced education and tutoring services for public schools in greater Houston. The owner is committed not only to her business but also to the academic success and future of underserved children. When the pandemic hit, schools closed. Her contracts were cancelled or suspended. And, most importantly, children were falling behind. In short order, she pivoted and converted school buses into mobile labs so that she could continue to serve students in need and provide a viable and valuable solution to schools in the region.
CAS Group truly benefitted by participating and it is the reason I want to share my experience and encourage others to explore Goldman Sachs 10KSB.
- If you’re a small business owner, apply! It can greatly contribute to the long-term success of your business.
- If you’re a business leader or decision-maker, explore ways to utilize small businesses – especially 10KSB alumni. Small businesses are key drivers in the local and national economy employing 60 million people, nearly half of America’s private workforce (and many have been hit hard by the pandemic).
I am honored to be part of this network of 10,000 small business owners and counting. Although they may come from business sectors far different than mine, I like to think that we share a drive to succeed, passion for excellence, and commitment to our businesses, our customers, our employees, our communities, and our collective future. I encourage other like-minded small business owners to join 10KSB and leverage the opportunities that 2021 may hold for all of us. Make it your New Year’s resolution to apply by the deadline of January 14, 2021!
CAS Group graduated from Houston’s 24th cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program.
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