While businesses of all sizes learn how to adapt to the changing marketplace, a small business owner and alum of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) at City Colleges of Chicago applauds the entrepreneurial learning program for giving him the tools to lead his business through COVID-19.
Andy Bizub, owner of Midwest Performance Cars and graduate of Goldman Sachs 10KSB at City Colleges of Chicago says he tapped into his training at the start of the pandemic to determine how he would address new operational realities, shifting marketing needs, building small business partnerships and community engagement.
When the challenges of COVID-19 were apparent, Bizub, who runs a service that specializes in European auto service, determined his first step would be to assuage the concerns of his 13 employees across two locations. “My first step was to hold a company meeting and inform the entire team that my priority was to make sure their paychecks were there every Friday,” he recalls. As there were many unknowns to consider, his goal was to ensure that staff knew he would do everything possible to avoid employee impact.
The next step was to reprioritize business needs, determining that as opposed to traditional advertising, the company would focus on community support. “We would find a local cause each month to support and let our community know about what we were doing to generate additional support for that cause as well as keep our business at a sustainable level.” For Bizub, the focus on community is a lesson that was emphasized in the program. “In addition to the concrete business fundamentals that we worked on, the 10KSB program also stressed the value of community participation and being a good corporate citizen,” Bizub notes.
In April, Midwest Performance Cars donated five percent of its gross revenue to a local charity that collects and distributes medical supplies to hospitals and other medical facilities. They also continued their charitable efforts into May while partnering with another small business owner, Maya-Camille Broussard who is a member of the 27th cohort graduating in December.
When asked about his professional insights and learnings from 10KSB, he says: “Community involvement is a key part of creating an enriching and profitable culture within your business. I believe that by assisting another small business in their community endeavors, you could make every dollar do double duty. Keeping a local small business working while benefitting a worthy cause.”
Designed for emerging entrepreneurs, Goldman Sachs 10KSB at City Colleges of Chicago provides education and professional support to small business owners who want to grow their businesses. Participants are taught fundamental business lessons and connected to a supportive network of peers and advisers – at no cost. Once accepted, small business owners will learn practical skills, including negotiations, marketing, employee management, and more. Participants also receive one-on-one business advising and get expert guidance from Goldman Sachs professionals and attorneys.
Recent numbers show that just six months after completing the program, 67% of small business graduates from 10,000 Small Businesses have reported increased revenues, and 47% had created new jobs after six months. The program also fosters business partnerships as 86% of program graduates across the country are doing business with each other.
“Wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey, the 10KSB program has something to offer that will greatly benefit both you and your company. Even after 25 years of prior business experience, 10KSB opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and solving business challenges. I have kept in contact with several of my fellow cohort members, as well as my instructors and counselors. I highly recommend this program for any entrepreneur,” said Bizub.
Taking into consideration the impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses nationwide, we are expanding the reach of the 10KSB program to businesses who are below our usual criteria.
Criteria and Requirements
Prospective applicants should have a passion for growing their business, creating jobs in their communities and generally meet the following criteria:
• Be a small business owner or small business co-owner
• Operational for at least two years
• Have revenues over $100,000 in the most recent fiscal year
• Have a minimum of four employees, including the owner
This program is free to program participants, but to maximize the benefits of the program, business owners are asked to commit to the following:
• Attend a program orientation
• Complete 11 convenient learning sessions
• Participate in out-of-class activities, including completing assignments, attending networking events and business support clinics (approx. 10-12 hours per week)
• Create a business growth plan over the course of the program
Since 2011, nearly 780 Chicagoland area small business owners have participated in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses across 27 cohorts. The program is also part of Harold Washington College’s Center of Excellence in business and professional services.
For more information on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business please visit our website at www.10ksbchicago.com. Small business owners who are interested, should apply online by Thursday, October 1, 2020.
About City Colleges of Chicago
City Colleges of Chicago prepares nearly 70,000 students annually for further college and careers. City Colleges encompasses seven colleges and five satellite sites city-wide. The seven colleges are: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Harry S Truman College, Wilbur Wright College and Harold Washington College. For more information on Harold Washington College and other City Colleges, call 773/C-O-L-L-E-G-E or visit ccc.edu.
About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses provides business education, support services and pathways to capital for growth-oriented entrepreneurs. Participants gain practical skills to take their business to the next level, with topics like financial statements, negotiations, and marketing. Participants develop an actionable growth plan for their business with the help of advisors and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. The program is free for participants and delivered in partnership with academic institutions across the country. To date, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has served over 9,700 businesses in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. For more, visit https://10ksbapply.com