Iowa small business owners who are looking for ways to broaden their operations will want to consider a new training program being offered by Iowa's community colleges, in conjunction with one of the largest U.S. financial services firms.
Goldman Sachs, which announced in September it was bringing its 10,000 Small Businesses program to Iowa, has been working with Des Moines Area Community College and the state's other community colleges, along with reginal and local economic development agencies, to coordinate the program's launch this January in Iowa. The program is based on a curriculum developed by Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
"It's such a cool program, and it's so exciting for our state's economic development that people are really spreading the word," said Karen Stiles, DMACC's director of innovation and special projects.
On Friday, Stiles joined about 40 small business owners crowded into a small seminar room at the Small Business Success Summit at DMACC's Ankeny campus. In that breakout session, they heard from three Greater Des Moines entrepreneurs - Kate Banasiak, Michelle DeClerck and James Deeds - who are among hundreds of business owners nationwide who have boosted their companies' revenues by double digits after going through the national program.
Iowa's program is a testing ground for developing a statewide version of the program, which to-date has been offered in 14 major metros to more than 7,300 small businesses at no cost to the businesses.
The first Iowa cohort of 40 small business owners will be announced in early December for training that will start in January, and applications are now being accepted for a second cohort of 40 that will begin in mid-April, Stiles said.
Because there are likely more applicants than slots for the initial cohort, Stiles said she hopes that some candidates will carry over to the next class, and that strong demand will encourage Goldman Sachs to continue funding beyond the initial two cohorts.
"That's what we want to keep showing them, that there's the need and we can hopefully keep this going and keep slotting them in," she said.
The next webinars for small businesses to get more information are scheduled Nov. 20 and Nov. 29; feel free to register now
. For more information about 10,000 Small Businesses in Iowa, visit the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses website
Joe Gardyasz, Senior Staff Writer, Des Moines Business Record