June 2014, Volume 18, Number 2

Powerful Partnerships

Businesses Jump to the Next Level

10,000 Small Businesses logo

This spring, an ambitious, talented group of local small business owners worked with experts at Miami Dade College to jumpstart their companies through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program, which matches entrepreneurs seeking to expand their markets and revenues with experienced business minds who can help.

The program is funded by Goldman Sachs, which committed $500 million to help develop 10,000 small U.S. businesses. MDC’s first cohort of 10KSB scholars graduated in May.

“At Miami Dade College, we live by the maxim that opportunity changes everything, and this is just what this program does,” said John Hall, executive director of MDC’s 10KSB program. “One of the benefits of this partnership study program is that it provides access to tools for revenue and employment growth that many area entrepreneurs otherwise would not have.”

The curriculum – taught by MDC business faculty and successful local entrepreneurs – includes coursework in finance, operations, leadership, marketing and more. In addition, the instruction extends to topics like pitching to potential clients and supporters, and peer-to-peer learning, where the scholars  share their problem-solving skills.

”This is an impressive group of entrepreneurs,” said MDC Professor Dr. Rahnuma Ahsan. ”In my  many years of teaching, I’ve seen the type of drive that is needed to excel, and this group has it.”

So far the numbers have been impressive for the 10KSB nationwide, which has scholars in 18 cities. A recent study showed that for the first 1,300 participants, along with a 99 percent graduation rate, the business owners increased the revenue of their companies an average of 63 percent within six months of graduation, as compared to only 37 percent of all small businesses over the same period. Almost 49 percent added new employees in that time frame, while only 18 percent of all small businesses did.

“The long-term impact can be significant,” Hall said. “With Miami Dade College successfully graduating 400 to 500 scholars in the next five years – all of whom are seeking to rapidly grow their revenues – the net effect will be significant economic growth and job creation for the entire region.”

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
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