12 JUN 2012

10,000 Small Businesses Inaugural Graduation in Chicago

On June 12th, 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined by Warren Buffett, Penny Pritzker and Lloyd Blankfein to celebrate the graduation of 37 area small business owners from the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative.

Earlier that day, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” aired a series of segments featuring interviews with Co-Chairs Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett as well as graduates of the program.

Other segments on Morning Joe:
The National Urban League's Marc Morial and small business owner Dennis Deer discuss the program

Ken Williams, president and CEO of the Shred Authority, talks about the program

The firm launched the program in Chicago in September 2011, committing $25 million for small business loans, business education and grants for community partners.

Over the past twenty weeks, through the City Colleges of Chicago’s Harold Washington Campus, the 37 graduates received intensive training in accounting, human resources, negotiation and marketing, among other topics. In addition, each business owner received one-on-one business advising, legal workshops and advice from Goldman Sachs professionals. These graduates represent a wide variety of industries from construction, recycling, medical services and technology to organic catering, transportation services among many others.

Chicago is one of seven 10,000 Small Businesses locations in the United States. In Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago is leading the business and management education program with the support of local partners including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Urban League, IFF, the Women’s Business Development Center, the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. These partners not only recruit small business owners from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods to apply to the program, but they also provide participants with best-in-class technical assistance and clinics.

Press release: Mayor Emanuel Celebrates the Inaugural Chicago Graduates of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses