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10,000 Small Businesses Inaugural Graduation in Houston

Senator John Cornyn, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston Mayor Annise Parker participated in the inaugural graduation of 53 10,000 Small Businesses scholars at Houston Community College on October 3, 2011.

As the nation’s fourth-largest city, the greater Houston area is home to 117,886 small businesses (under 100 employees) according to US Census Bureau data. In addition, Houston was the fastest-growing metro area between 2000 and 2010 with an increase of more than 1.2 million people, according to Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

“Houston is an ideal location for this program given that local businesses employ more than 60 percent of Houston’s workforce. Houston is also one of the few cities in the nation that has experienced economic growth,” said Mayor Parker. “The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is just another way Houston supports and encourages business growth and job creation.”

Senator Cornyn emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships like 10,000 Small Businesses in unlocking the potential of underserved business owner.

David Heller, global co-head of the Securities Division, addressed the graduating business owners, underscoring Goldman Sachs’ commitment to the Houston business community, where the firm has operated for more than 35 years.

“At Goldman Sachs, in our business and in our corporate engagement efforts, we invest in growth,” David said. “And after meeting the graduates today, I’m impressed with the caliber of small businesses in the room and their potential to achieve significant growth.”

The graduates join a growing number of small businesses now totaling more than 350 who have participated in the program through partnerships with community colleges, community development financial institutions and community organizations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Beach, New Orleans and New York.

The diverse group of businesses received training at Houston Community College. The entrepreneurial approach of the curriculum, including leadership, finance, accounting, operations, human resources, and sales & marketing, was designed to be actionable and immediately applicable.