The Goldman Sachs Group has announced the launch of 10,000 Small Businesses, a $500 million initiative designed to spur growth and job creation in the small business sector through greater access to business education, mentors and networks, and financial capital.
As part of the initiative, Goldman will provide $300 million in loans and grants to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to increase the amount of growth capital available to small businesses in underserved communities and expand the capacity of CDFIs to deliver enhanced technical assistance. The first CDFI to receive financing through the initiative will be New York City-based Seedco Financial, which is expected to start making loans to underserved businesses in the New York area in early 2010.
In addition, Goldman will contribute $200 million to community colleges, universities, and other institutions to provide scholarships to small business owners, with a focus on those who are underserved. New York City's LaGuardia Community College, which houses a Small Business Development Center, will be the first community college to participate in the initiative.
An advisory council co-chaired by Goldman chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Warren Buffett, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter will assist in the development, execution, and evaluation of the initiative.
"Small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in America's economy," said Blankfein. "We are pleased to work with our partners in this initiative to support small business owners, particularly those in underserved communities."