growth. This module focuses on understanding the nature of customer relations, markets, and competition. In partnership with local and national business service providers, we recap the fundamentals of sales and marketing and then explore various international and governmental procurement opportunities. This module includes exercises that allow participants to improve their personal selling skills and a panel to discuss social media-based marketing.
Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the 10,000 Small Businesses curriculum focuses on practical skills that small business managers can immediately put into action within their company. Over the course of the program, small business owners will gain the skills needed to recognize new opportunities, embrace practices that increase business growth, and ultimately develop a customized growth plan for their business. The curriculum is organized into nine modules and five clinics geared around small business management training, each of which includes classroom discussion, peer learning exercises, skill-building, and experiential applications. Classroom activities are complemented by an integrated portfolio of business services, including one-on-one business advice, legal and financial clinics, and networking opportunities.
Harold Washington College is the Center of Excellence hub for business and professional services at City Colleges of Chicago, making it the ideal location for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in Chicago. City Colleges partners with leading companies to ensure graduates are ready for the 300,000 business and professional services jobs coming to the Chicago region over the next decade.
Cohort 36 Fall 2023 Schedule- Classes from September 2023 thru December 2023. (Click a selection to see more information.)
9/14/2023 Our opening module will orient participants to the 10,000 Small Businesses program and allow faculty, scholars, and business service providers to connect with each other while learning more about entrepreneurial skill sets and the entrepreneurial economy of the region. We will discuss the outcomes of participants’ business assessments and dig into the ideas behind how to create and act upon a Growth Plan.
Module 1: You & Your Business
You and Your Business. We will discuss the outcomes of participant’s business assessments and delve into the ideas behind how to create and act upon a growth plan. As part of this session, we will hear from a panel of entrepreneurs on their approach to growing businesses, their use of local business assistance resources, and the relationship between their business and family lives.
Module 2: Growth & Opportunities
We will explore different strategies for growing a successful small business. Participants will learn about the elements of a highly impactful growth plan and how the program’s coursework and support services will enable them to complete and implement such a plan. We will work through a series of exercises on identifying and evaluating business opportunities.
Financial Statements Workshop
The Financial Statements Workshop (FSW) is to get the scholars more comfortable with financial statements in general, and their numbers more specifically. This workshop will focus on financial statement construction and format with the underlying assumption that if the scholars understand how to construct the three basic financial statements, they will more easily be able to interpret and forecast financial statements.
Module 3: Money & Metrics
Financial literacy is essential for growing your business. You must understand your company’s financial statements, how they relate to each other, and how they can help you set goals, benchmark progress, and grow your revenue and bottom line. In this module, we review financial statement basics and then develop analyses and forecasting methods to plan and monitor your business growth.
You are the Lender Clinic
This clinic gives scholars the opportunity to play the role of bankers on a loan committee evaluating three preliminary loan applications.Bankers role-play the applicants, and scholars conduct a Q&A as part of the process. Each loan committee is asked to make loan recommendations for each applicant:
Module 4: You Are the Leader
Most small business owners are looking for a path to becoming a more strategic and effective leader for their business. In this module, participants take part in a simulation to better understand their personal leadership style and receive feedback on entrepreneurial approaches to different leadership styles. Participants then navigate through a set of interactive business cases.
This Negotiations Clinic provides the scholars with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of different kinds of negotiations that they commonly do as they run their businesses. They will learn how to anticipate and respond in each type, as well as how to prepare for negotiations. By participating in these role-plays and discussing afterwards the outcomes and tactics each scholar used, they see both the limits and benefits of their practice and they learn new tactics for getting better outcomes.
Module 5: It’s the People
High-growth small businesses frequently attribute their success to the quality and dedication of the people they employ. This module will help participants to hire, develop, and retain talented individuals who can help them grow their businesses. We use a number of exercises to explore the role of organizational culture and human capital management on jumpstarting business growth and then work with participants to incorporate new practices in the design and implementation of their business growth plans.
Module 6: Marketing & Selling
The management of the whole marketing system, including sales/selling, is a critical aspect of business growth. This module focuses on understanding the nature of customer relations, markets, and competition. In partnership with local and national business service providers, we recap the fundamentals of sales and marketing and then explore various international and governmental procurement opportunities. This module includes exercises that allow participants to improve their personal selling skills and a panel to discuss social media-based marketing.
Digital Marketing Clinic
The Legal Clinic provides the scholars with an opportunity to build upon the previous foundation content and to provide the scholars the relevant information around the legal aspects of human resource issues found ingrowing a company, particularly those related to hiring, developing, and dismissing employees. More specifically, the topic is largely employment law as it directly relates to the practice of the scholars in how they manage and grow their businesses.
Module 8: Being Bankable
In this module, we review the different types of financing available, discuss the steps to obtain financial capital through each, and help participants understand which funding sources are most appropriate for their businesses and how they can become more bankable. Fundamental business valuation techniques are also examined as a possible metric to assess a company’s growth prospects. This module will be facilitated and led by a panel of local bankers and financial service providers.
Module 9: Action for Growth
12/14/2023 & 12/15/2023
Realizing that entrepreneurship does not have to be a lonely endeavor can be a freeing experience for small business owners. In this session, we introduce the role of external business advisors (e.g. mentors, consultants, advisory boards) and explore best practices for accessing and implementing their advice. The module concludes with a panel of external advisors who will describe their services and interact with participants. During the final session of the 10,000 Small Businesses curriculum, participants will have the opportunity to present their growth plans and receive feedback from their business advisors and peers as they hone and prepare to implement their strategies. We also will discuss the role of small businesses in the regional economy and ways in which participants might assume leadership roles in strengthening the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem moving forward.