Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses today announced it has expanded its $100 million Investment in Rural Communities initiative to Arkansas and is making a $20 million commitment to community development financial institution (CFDI) Hope Enterprise Corporation to foster job creation and help catalyze economic growth across the region.
The new initiative, which first launched in North Dakota in September, is an extension of Goldman Sachs’ successful 10,000 Small Businesses program, which has served over 14,000 businesses across the country for more than a decade by providing access to education and capital. The initiative plans to reach rural small business owners in 20 states in the next five years.
“We are thrilled to expand our 10,000 Small Businesses program by partnering with the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College and Hope Enterprise Corporation,” said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon. “Through our work together, we can provide rural entrepreneurs with the resources, education and access to capital they need to create jobs and grow the economy.”
As part of the $100 million commitment of the initiative, Goldman Sachs is partnering with Hope Enterprise Corporation to provide support to rural small business owners in Arkansas and across the Southern U.S. In addition to deploying capital through CDFIs to provide loans to small businesses, the broader initiative also provides funding for the 10,000 Small Businesses education program at local community colleges and capacity-building grants to support access to capital.
“Access to capital is a top priority for small business owners across the country,” said Hope Enterprise Corporation CEO Bill Bynum. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Goldman Sachs to provide the financial stability that growing businesses need to thrive – in Arkansas, and other under resourced rural communities across the South.”
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses already has a proven track record of working with rural small business owners. Survey data released last month found that 74% of rural small businesses have grown revenues and 72% have expanded their workforce as a result of this program.
The expansion was launched during a special event at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum, attended by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon and numerous 10,000 Small Businesses participants and community stakeholders. Goldman Sachs’ educational partner in the region is University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College.
“I started a small business with my brother many years ago in Arkansas, and I recognize the challenges these entrepreneurs face in regard to workforce and access to capital and other resources,” said Arkansas Senator John Boozman. “Small businesses are the engines of Arkansas’s economy and I appreciate the training and resources that Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has committed to provide support for our rural small business community.”
“Arkansas is proudly a state of small towns, and those towns depend on the opportunities and services of more than 250,000 small businesses. For our hometown communities to thrive, entrepreneurs across our state need every opportunity to succeed,” said Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton. “I’m grateful to the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College and Goldman Sachs for working together to support the Arkansas small business leaders who keep our communities strong.”
“The 10,000 Small Businesses program gave me the tools and resources I needed to take my business to the next level,” said Sally Mengel, founder and owner of Loblolly Creamery and alum of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. “The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in Arkansas, but our small business owners are often overlooked. I am excited that Goldman Sachs is furthering its commitment to supporting rural entrepreneurs in Arkansas and across the country.”
“Entrepreneurship is a vital pathway to economic stability for many rural communities. My husband and I founded our business out of necessity during the pandemic to bring in new revenue streams, but quickly found we needed more education about the foundation of our business to thrive,” said Samantha Stewart, co-founder and co-owner of Certified Pies and incoming Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses scholar. “I look forward to gaining valuable insights into optimizing my operations during this critical moment for my business by taking the 10,000 Small Businesses program.”
Goldman Sachs is committed to reaching a diverse and representative group of small business owners across rural America, where small businesses power the local economies. According to recent data from the Small Business Administration, small businesses operate nearly 85% of establishments and employ 54% of workers in rural communities. Through the expanded program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will engage stakeholders, including retailers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and other business leaders on issues in their communities, creating lasting solutions for rural America.
About 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing a comprehensive business education program and access to capital and business support services. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has served over 14,000 small businesses across the United States. The program has reached businesses from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.gs.com/10ksb.
About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.