The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program: 2009-2021
In December 2021, more than a decade after its founding, Goldman Sachs's 10,000 Small Businesses program was still going strong - and the firm now needed to evaluate potential program modifications to reach a wider group of small business owners. Launched in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, 10,000 Small Businesses provided business education, a wide network, and access to capital to U.S. small business owners through more than a dozen city- and state-based program and a National Cohort model. By 2020, Goldman Sachs achieved its goal of graduating 10,000 small business owners from the program, and the firm decided to renew the program with the goal of reaching another 10,000. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed unprecedented strain on small business owners across the U.S., the 10,000 Small Businesses program office team expanded the program's efforts to organize a collective voice for small business owners in U.S. politics, support an internship program that paired community college students with local small businesses, and admit owners of smaller businesses than had previously been accepted into the program. In late 2021, the team considered how to approach its latest effort: supporting Black women business owners in line with the firm's broader One Million Black Women initiative. As 10,000 Small Businesses expanded its reach to smaller businesses and sole proprietors, what modifications did the team need to make? In what ways did Goldman Sachs need to rethink its work to render its One Million Black Women initiative effective?