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Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program kicks off at HCC Missouri City campus to help small businesses grow

Feb 1, 2018

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Small business owners ready to take their business to the next level have an opportunity to apply and participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program set to launch in May at the Houston Community College Southwest College’s Missouri City campus.

This national program was brought to Houston in 2011 through a partnership among HCC, the city of Houston and Goldman Sachs Foundation. It supports small businesses with strategies for growth and sustainability with business education and application and support of business advisors. The three-month program lets participants gain practical skills such as negotiation, marketing and management that can immediately be put into action.

“This program at HCC helps businesses past the start-up phase and in position for growth,” said Cathy Landry, executive director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at HCC. “An owner is typically hands-on in day-to-day operations. This program helps the owner step back and work on a strategy for growth rather than just maintain operations.” 

Participants spend 13 weeks, roughly 100 class hours, at HCC studying the business curriculum. Since 2011, 552 small business owners have graduated from the Goldman Sachs program at HCC. These graduates represent more than 40 industries including information technology, manufacturing and hospitality. 

Graduates receive a certificate of completion of the Goldman Sachs program and a certificate of completion from HCC Corporate College Continuing Education. The graduates are now ready to implement their customized growth plan developed throughout the program and become members of the local and national Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumni network, which offers them ample opportunities to do business with each other. 

In order to be accepted into the program, participants must generally meet four criteria: they must be the owner or co-owner; they must have business revenues of at least $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year; they must have at least four employees on staff including the program participant; and their businesses must be in operation for at least two years. 

"This is not a spectator sport. Participants come prepared to work on a growth strategy that is ready to implement when they graduate," said Liz Lara-Carreno, outreach director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at HCC. “Eighty-five percent of program alumni do business with each other, demonstrating the power of the peer-to-peer network created in the classroom.” 

Stafford-based RPC Global is one of the companies transformed thanks to the Goldman Sachs program at HCC. In 2011 when owner Abe Gonzalez enrolled in the program, growth at his information technology and computer recycling company had stagnated. 

“I learned I had to take responsibility, which meant taking over the leadership role from my father, and it changed our bottom line,” Gonzalez said. “I became decisive in the employees I kept. I cut strategies that weren’t working and we made a big decision to close the brick-and-mortar store and become an e-commerce business. Once we trimmed the fat, we could focus on what worked.” 

Seven years after graduating from the program, Gonzalez has seen his company grow more than 400 percent. RPC Global now lives up to its name, doing business all over the world, thanks to the addition of an eBay storage room to handle these transactions. 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at HCC offers three sessions a year, in spring, summer and fall, at various HCC campuses. There is no cost to participate in the program, which is funded through the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

The program is accepting applications for the summer session at the HCC Missouri City campus that runs from May 16 through mid-August. The deadline to apply is Thursday, February 15. Apply at hccs.edu/hcc-in-the-community/10ksb/ or call 713.718.8348. 

 


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