06 JUN 2011

10,000 Small Businesses Graduates its First Class in New Orleans

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu today addressed the inaugural graduation of 30 New Orleans small business owners from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at a ceremony at Delgado Community College.

“Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses is an innovative program that gives our local business owners the practical education and financial tools they need to make their businesses and our community thrive," said Mayor Landrieu. For the last several months, through Delgado Community College, the business owners studied accounting, human resources, negotiation and marketing. One-one-one mentoring, accounting workshops and pro bono legal advice from Goldman Sachs professionals were part of the program.

The 10,000 Small Business graduates represent a wide range of industries, ranging from construction, pest control, retail stores, medical services, event planning, equipment rental, and courier services, to valet parking businesses and more. More than half of the graduates have increased sales or hired employees with several more having immediate plans to hire.

The graduation featured speeches by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, co-chairs of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council Warren Buffett and Michael Porter and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. 
New Orleans is the third location of the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in the United States. Delgado Community College partnered with HOPE Enterprise Corporation and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans in this initiative, which will expand the pipeline of talent in New Orleans to help drive job creation. The program, launched in November 2010, committed $20 million in capital in greater New Orleans to HOPE.

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Video: 10,000 Small Businesses Scholar Kendall Washington on MSNBC