30 NOV 2012

Warren Buffett Meets with Cleveland 10,000 Small Businesses Participants

Warren Buffett, Mayor Jackson Deliver Feedback on Small Business Owner Growth Plans

On November 30, 2012, Warren Buffett joined City of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) to give feedback to the first class of Cleveland business owners participating in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

The business owners delivered their growth opportunities pitch to Mr. Buffett, Mayor Jackson, Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, President of Cuyahoga Community College, Don Graves, the Executive Director of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House, and their fellow participants and mentors. Mr. Buffett is a co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses advisory council.

This pitch, the “Rocket Pitch,” is an opportunity for the business owners to concisely communicate their growth opportunities, the resources they will need, and how they will finance these opportunities.The pitch is done as if it is being made to existing or potential stakeholders such as employees, customers, vendors or funders. Feedback received will also inform the business owners’ growth strategies, or their “Growth Plans,” which are the key deliverable of 10,000 Small Businesses.

Cuyahoga Community College is leading the business and management education program for 10,000 Small Businesses in Cleveland and is also working with local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital program components.

Classes began for the first participating businesses in Cleveland at Tri-C on September 7, 2012 and scholars will graduate in February 2013. The 36 small business owners who are participating in these classes represent a diverse set of businesses including those in the fields of manufacturing, consulting, web design, landscaping and hairstyling, among others.

Other partners involved in the program include the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), JumpStart, Inc., the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. These partners help with the recruitment of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Greater Cleveland area and assist in providing outreach and business support services.

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