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Growth Of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses At Babson

As we prepare for the final face-to-face session for the third cohort of the Babson-based blended model of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, it seems like a good time to report and reflect on what this program continues to mean to Babson.

The Goldman Sachs Foundation asked Babson to design the curriculum for this initiative in 2010, and we now manage all of the academic portions, including the continuous improvement of the content and delivery methods, the integrated business advising, the alumni program, and all aspects of measurement and evaluation.

Since the program launch, over 4,600 business owners have been touched by the program and in the educational component we have a 99% completion rate for the community college based sites and our delivery team includes over 100 people across twelve school based sites, including an Executive Director, Lead Faculty, Mod Faculty, Outreach Directors, Business Advisors, Alumni Managers, and Program Managers – at each site.

Faculty Director Patricia Greene

Faculty Director Patricia Greene

We’ve shared the outcome measures with you before, but just as a reminder:

  • 64% of our graduates grow their revenues by 6 months after the program, and
  • 45% increase jobs.

That compares to a national average of 37% and 18% respectively.  We have just finished our second annual progress report and so will have even better news to share quite soon.

In addition, we are now in the third cohort of our blended model, designed so that business owners who don’t live near one of our community college based programs can still participate.  We had 47 in the first cohort, 75 in the second, and 126 are currently in the third cohort, and getting ready to come back to BEEC next week for four days.

In this program, all the face-to-face segments are currently delivered at Babson.  This new delivery model for 10,000 Small Businesses includes the entire original curriculum. With the help of Babson CITG, we were able to test what parts would work just as well, or better, on line, and what needed to be delivered face-to-face.  We adjusted based on what we learned from the first cohort, and are now quite pleased with the flow.   More importantly, the graduate business owners report being quite pleased – and their businesses are growing.

This project has been a true labor of love for those of us involved.  It has expanded to now include design and training work for 10,000 Women as well.  While 10,000 Small Businesses is for men and women in the U.S., with four additional sites in the UK, 10,000 Women reaches out to women growing businesses in emerging economies.   10,000 Women has already reached its first 10,000 women business owners, and Babson is now partnering on Phase 2 with the first training for this next curriculum also to be held at BEEC next week.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the program is to watch so many more people across the country learn about Babson and understand our role in expanding entrepreneurial ecosystems.  It is still true, although decidedly less so, that within the U.S. but outside of New England, people often don’t recognize us.

The owners participating in 10,000 Businesses certainly learn who we are and what we can do.  As one recent graduate wrote, “”Participation in the Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program has been transformative for our company.  The curriculum designed by Babson College is informative, effective and met the needs of our growing company.  I have the highest praise for the program and recommend it to all small businesses.”

From another graduate, “Although I know it is a result of my clear, detailed plan (Sophicolor Growth Plan) created during the time at Babson through Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses, it is also about believing it can be done.  That vision is what allowed me to see the opportunities along the way.”  Helping business owners frame and advance their vision is one of the most rewarding parts of the program for us.

As I mentioned, later this quarter we will release our second progress report that describes our reach and impact.  Until then, spoilers…..  it just gets even better.


The Babson 10,000 Small Businesses faculty team:  Professors Bliss, Donnellon, Fetters, Greene, Sassine