A peer-learning approach
The classes are set up in such a way that those enrolled in the course learn from each other.
“The instructor presents a new idea or tool to the class,” Polena says. “Each class member, or scholar, will then work on ways to apply the concept to their business. This typically involves group discussions where the scholars give and receive feedback.”
The benefit of this approach, Polena says, is that all of the work that the scholars do in the class is related to their own business.
Relevant and information-packed courses
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is centered around areas of study, or mods, that help the scholars identify new growth opportunities. And, just as importantly, to identify whether these are good opportunities to pursue.
“For example, the financial mods give scholars the tools they need to evaluate growth opportunities and also run their business better,” Polena says.
Also, there are two mods that deal with people, Polena says. “The first focuses on the entrepreneur and how to develop leadership skills. The second focuses on employees, including recruiting, retention, performance issues, etc.”
Other mods include: marketing, process mapping, and how to get funding for growth.
• RELATED: Learn more about the areas of study covered by the program
Assessing the right opportunities
A primary focus of the program is to help the scholars formulate a learning process by which they can identify and assess growth opportunities.
“All during the program, the scholars are working on a growth plan for implementing a growth opportunity they identify for their business,” Polena says. “This is a reusable process, so they can use it to identify and assess other growth opportunities after they graduate from the program.”
Building long-lasting relationships
Scholars who enroll in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program will find that the relationships they build during the program last long after graduation, Polena says.
“When they become an alum, they become part of a group of over 500 graduates in Cleveland,” he says. “There is an active alumni program that has monthly continuing education, accountability groups and social events. Many find the new network they developed is a benefit they hadn’t anticipated.”
Apply for the next Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses session by clicking here. The deadline to apply is October 13, 2017. Learn more about the program by clicking here.