At an event held in June at LaGuardia Community College, which was attended by Lloyd Blankfein, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Jack Dorsey, and Michael Porter, plans were unveiled for the new Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Education Center located on the LaGuardia Community College campus.
The event marked the 20th graduation of 10,000 Small Businesses in New York, a program created through a partnership between Goldman Sachs and LaGuardia Community College to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and in turn, create jobs and economic opportunity, by providing access to business education, capital and technical assistance.
“Our partnership with Goldman Sachs on 10,000 Small Businesses in New York perfectly aligns our dedication to helping existing small businesses grow their businesses, with our knowledge about the power of education to improve lives,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “Our College is devoted to making a positive impact on New York City by promoting workforce development, and, in order to help people get out of poverty and to safeguard the middle class.”
“We are so proud that LaGuardia Community College was our first partner when we launched 10,000 Small Businesses five years ago and that today more than 600 local entrepreneurs have been served through the program,” said Dina Powell, Head of Goldman Sachs’ Impact Investing Business and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. “Through this important partnership we’ve been able to see firsthand the power of small businesses when they are given the tools and resources they need to grow. This new Center will help continue our mission to spur business growth and economic development.”
In July 2014, Governor Cuomo announced a $5 million award for a new Education Center from CUNY 2020, as part of $55 million in total funding for eight innovative projects involving 20 participating CUNY campuses, which are designed to spark local workforce development and entrepreneurship, with the goal of supporting the creation of more than 3,800 jobs over six years.
The new Center will consolidate and expand the current offerings for 10,000 Small Businesses in New York, at LaGuardia Community College, and is expected to be completed in 2017.
“As interest in our 10,000 Small Businesses program continues to grow, it has become clear that we need a new state-of-the-art center that can serve as a central location for the classes and events designed to spur business growth among participants, as well as expand the number of entrepreneurs served by the program each year,” said Dr. Mellow.
The new 10,000 sq. ft. space will feature two large and five smaller meeting rooms, a business center, and nine offices. “The new north-facing space will have gorgeous views of Manhattan—which we hope will inspire the entrepreneurs as they strive to grow their businesses,” said Dr. Mellow.
It was designed by Ahuja Partnership Architects, a firm that specializes in educational and institutional projects, including several for CUNY over the years. It will be located on the 7th floor of LaGuardia’s “C” building, at 29-10 Thomson Ave. in Long Island City, Queens, on the same floor as LaGuardia Community College’s NYDesigns, an on-campus incubator for startup tech and design companies.
“There’s a lot of synergy between our 10,000 Small Businesses program and NYDesigns, and we selected the location for the new Center to encourage even more collaboration,” said Jane Schulman, Vice President of LaGuardia’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education and Executive Director of 10,000 Small Businesses in New York at LaGuardia. “Some companies in 10,000 Small Businesses decide to rent space in NYDesigns, which allows them to use an onsite laser cutter, 3D printer, and other high-tech tools in NYDesign’s FabLab, or use its procurement and development centers.”
One example of this synergy is the story of Nadira El Khang, originally from Morocco, who graduated from LaGuardia Community College in February 2014 with an associate’s in accounting. While studying at LaGuardia, Ms. El Khang began NadiraBag—a store featuring her unique and fashionable handmade leather bags. She connected with Queens-LaGuardia Small Business Development Center where staff urged her to apply for the Capital One Entrepreneurial program at NYDesigns, a 10-week training for aspiring entrepreneurs, featuring business workshops and mentoring. At the program’s conclusion, Ms. El Khang took home the top prize in the Capital One Student Design Entrepreneur Challenge, which came with $1,000 to put towards her business and additional business counsel from Capital One.
She then rented office space at NYDesigns, where she received counsel on her business plan. After building a thriving e-store on Etsy, she then sought assistance to grow her business and was accepted into 10,000 Small Businesses in New York at LaGuardia. “10,000 Small Businesses helped unlock my fears about expanding my business, and gave me the confidence to broaden my leather goods store from online, to in-person at a pop-up store called Made In Queens,” said Ms. El Khang who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business at Brooklyn College. “The store’s grand opening will be June 15th in Long Island City, and I’m so excited for my future and for the future of NadiraBag.”
In 2010, LaGuardia Community College was selected by Goldman Sachs as the first community college in the country for its 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. Since the founding of the program, the program at LaGuardia has trained more than 600 businesses that have created new jobs, secured loans, and negotiated new contracts.
Given the success of the program at LaGuardia, Goldman Sachs expanded 10,000 Small Businesses throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, and to date has established programs in 31 sites worldwide, and has served nearly 6,300 small businesses. The program results have been outstanding. Sixty-nine percent of participants have reported increased revenues within six months after graduating and forty-eight percent of participants have reported creating net new jobs within six months after graduating.
To learn more, visit https://10ksbapply.com/.