OCC receives grant to continue Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” initiative

Oakland Community College (OCC) received tangible recognition of its role in the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” initiative with a two-year grant partnership renewal.

The program currently operates in select markets across the U.S. The initial grant provided to OCC and area partners, was implemented as a five-year commitment. The new contract provides an opportunity to continue with the program.

To graduate, participants have to complete more than 100 hours of study offered by a consortium consisting of Oakland Community College, Macomb Community College, Wayne State University and Babson College in Massachusetts.

The Detroit market is deemed most successful.

“We’re proud of the fact that the Detroit-area program is outpacing others in two notable areas: revenue growth and job creation,” said Danielle Love, OCC program manager. She adds the program is a true regional partnership.

Faculty are trained to deliver national curriculum to participants – small and medium-sized business owners who have a business poised for growth. OCC provides the lead faculty member, Kent Snyder, for the program.

“The dynamic of this group is very different from a typical business classroom. These entrepreneurs are taking time from their businesses, not pulling in income when they attend these sessions,” explains OCC’s Tony Racka, one of the original program faculty members. “They are not looking for a traditional MBA or the theory behind larger corporate strategies. They want practical and implementable curriculum with a focus on small and medium business. The tone is refreshing, with a nervous tension in the room, in a very real environment.”

“People forget that big companies started small. These business owners are taking big risks and working the American dream. It’s exciting to see the successes. Our graduates are ambitious, hustling entrepreneurs,” Racka and Love added.

One of the largest deliverables of the program is a five-year growth plan. The case study is the participants’ own business, reviewed by business analysts.

Access to capital is a significant piece of the program as well. Several graduates are recipients of Goldman Sachs capital loans and many receive alternative sources of funding as part of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI).

“It’s great to see past participants including the owners of McClure’s Pickles, Walker-Miller Energy Services and McClary Bros. Vinegars take off. They are passionate about business growth and creating jobs in our communities,” said Racka.

The next cohort (sixth in the program), begins November 6 and ends March 5, 2016. All classes are taught by OCC and MCC faculty and held in Detroit at WSU or TechTown.

Recruiting for the next cohort begins early 2016; applications are due June 2016. Program eligibility includes businesses who are in operation for at least two years, poised for growth with revenues of more than $100,000 in the most recent fiscal year and want to really dig in. Owners or co-owners of the business are accepted and the business must have at least two employees (including the owner).The type of business does not matter.

For more information, visit: http://10ksbdetroit.com.

About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences that allow each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve. More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC and more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit oaklandcc.edu.