Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK Hosts Alumni Conference

Program to Drive Growth and Create Jobs and Opportunities in the UK Holds First Alumni Conference

22 April 2013 - 10,000 Small Businesses UK today brought together 300 participants from across the country for the first time for a full-day conference around the theme of “Leading Growth,” held at the London offices of Goldman Sachs. 

The 10,000 Small Businesses UK alumni conference provided participants with the opportunity to hear growth strategies from notable corporate leaders including Ana Botín, CEO of Santander UK; Julian Metcalfe, co-founder of Pret A Manger and founder of Itsu; Gerry Ford, group chairman and CEO of Caffè Nero; and Brian McCluskey, chief executive of Office Holdings Limited. Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein co-hosted a panel discussion during the conference.

”Our approach to 10,000 Small Businesses is that this is more than just philanthropy,” Blankfein said. “This represents an investment that is self-sustaining and that has a compounding effect on local communities through economic growth and job creation.”

The panel also included two graduates of 10,000 Small Businesses UK, Jim Griffin, owner and managing director of Warwickshire-based Automotive Insulations; and Anne O’Connor, co-founder and director of Wirral-based Fleetsolve Ltd. They discussed their businesses and experiences of the program.

Since the launch of 10,000 Small Businesses UK in October 2010, the program has reached nearly 500 leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across Yorkshire and Humber, the North West, the Midlands and London.

The firm’s academic partners released a 10,000 Small Businesses UK Progress Report on April  22, which indicates that the program is leading to an observable impact on jobs and turnover. For example, 77 percent of participants are creating net employment after the program, compared with 24 percent of the wider small business population. On average, participants reported an annual increase of 23 percent in their net employment.