08 SEP 2023

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Launches $100 Million Investment in Rural Communities Across America

  • New initiative invests in rural entrepreneurs through best-in-class business training program and access to capital
  • New Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey data highlights rural economic disparities and heightened workforce challenges
  • Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon visits Bismarck, N.D., to launch new initiative

Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 8, 2023 – Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses today announced a $100 million Investment in Rural Communities across the country to support job creation and economic growth. The new initiative, first launching in North Dakota and Arkansas, is an extension of Goldman Sachs’ successful 10,000 Small Businesses program, which has served over 14,000 businesses across the country for more than a decade by providing access to education and capital. The initiative will reach rural small business owners in 20 states in the next five years.

The $100mm commitment will provide comprehensive support to rural small business owners and includes $75mm to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) – starting first with a partnership with Dakota Business Lending – to provide loans to small businesses, $15mm to fund the 10,000 Small Businesses education program at local community colleges and $10mm in access to capital capacity-building grants.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses already has a proven track record of working with rural small business owners. New survey data released today found that 74% of rural small businesses have grown revenues and 72% have expanded their workforce as a result of this program.

“Small businesses are engines of economic growth in our country and that’s especially true in our rural communities,” said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon. “I’m excited to expand our 10,000 Small Businesses program to provide more entrepreneurs with the training, tools and access to capital they need to create more jobs and drive our economy forward.” 

While rural small businesses drive job creation and community engagement, the new survey found that they are often overlooked. 89% of rural small businesses support local organizations and causes, yet very few rural small businesses believe that they receive a fair amount of public and private sector resources, 14% and 7% respectively. Furthermore, these businesses are facing a growing workforce shortage, with 68% reporting that attracting workers to live and work in their communities is a challenge (compared to 46% non-rural). The new data shows that these headwinds are intensified by the lack of child care, health care and other quality of life services in rural America.

The initiative was launched during a special event at the 10,000 Small Businesses academic partner in North Dakota, Bismarck State College, attended by Governor Doug Burgum, U.S. Senator John Hoeven, Congressman Kelly Armstrong, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon, Goldman Sachs Global Head of Corporate Engagement Asahi Pompey, and numerous 10,000 Small Businesses participants and community stakeholders.

“Small businesses are critical to the health of the U.S. economy, and this investment by Goldman Sachs will help train and support our next generation of risk takers and job creators in North Dakota,” said North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. “As our administration continues to focus on growing and diversifying the economy, we are grateful to Goldman Sachs for bringing its 10,000 Small Businesses program to North Dakota to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“It is always a good day to support our small businesses, and I am grateful to Goldman Sachs for investing resources and training in North Dakota,” said North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer. “While they don’t often get the attention major corporations do, small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and this significant investment will help owners and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in our state.”

"North Dakota’s economy is powered by small businesses,” said North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong. "Goldman Sachs' new initiative is more than just capital, it's training, education, and development that will translate to job creation and economic growth in our state for decades to come."

“As a small business owner, 10,000 Small Businesses provided me with the tools I needed when I didn’t feel like I had the experience to run a growing business or the support from a community of like-minded entrepreneurs,” said Beth Nodland, founder and owner of Juniper and the first graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in North Dakota. “This program was built for people like me who have full-time businesses and full-time lives and I am so proud that Goldman Sachs is committed to expanding the program to reach more small business owners in rural communities.”

“Small businesses make up a vast majority of businesses in North Dakota but many of us typically lack extra resources to continue to grow and sustain ourselves,” said Sara Christianson, owner of Board and Brush Creative Studio and incoming Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses scholar. “I am excited to begin the 10,000 Small Businesses program to unlock growth for my business and connect with other entrepreneurs across North Dakota and the country.”

Goldman Sachs is committed to reaching a diverse, representative group of small business owners across rural America, where small businesses power the economy. According to recent data from the Small Business Administration, small businesses operate nearly 85% of establishments and employ 54% of workers in rural communities. Through the expanded program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will engage stakeholders, including retailers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and other business leaders on issues in their communities, creating lasting solutions for rural America.


About 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing a comprehensive business education program and access to capital and business support services. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has served over 14,000 small businesses across the United States. The program has reached businesses from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.gs.com/10ksb.

About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.