Category Archives: Goldman Sachs

WBDC Retail Business Clients Share Their 2013 Business Strategies

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday may have been a bonanza for many WBDC retail clients, but even before the December holidays were over, most had their eye on the New Year. Read their business-building strategies – and be inspired!

JulieJulie Horowitz Jackson, Owner

Virtu, 2034 N. Damen Av.

www.virtuchicago.com

One-of-a-kind gifts such as handcrafted jewelry and stationery are Julie’s stock and trade. In 2013, she’ll alter her buying plan by reducing inventory and adding new artists. In-store events will be bumped from six to ten. She still plans to write guest articles for gift and chamber of commerce publications, but her real focus will be on expanding her own blog, “Virtues,” with a precise editorial calendar.

 

Deborah Kramer

Deborah Kraemer, Owner

Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, 1162 W. Grand Av.

www.abbeybrown.com

Deborah’s new year begins with a bang on January 4 when she plunges in to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. She’ll handle the intensive curriculum, which requires two full days of weekly classroom sessions and plenty of “homework,” by turning over more duties to her two managers. Deborah will expand the number of on-site soap-making classes and maintain her level of involvement teaching high school students small business skills in the After School Matters program. For Deborah, January also means taking a complete business inventory and manning a booth at the Chicago Gift Show at the Merchandise Mart. Oh, and she’s designing several new products. Did we mention this is all BEFORE she begins the Goldman Sachs program? Stay tuned!

Laurel Stradford

Laurel Stradford, Owner

What the Traveler Saw, 1508 E. 55th St.

www.WhatTheTravelerSaw.com

Coming off of a successful 2012, Laurel says she’s bringing “a new heart and hope” to the new year. Her popular store will be open more days and more hours. She will amp up her marketing and regularly post information on her new blog and Facebook page. Sadly, the “traveler” was only able to schedule one trip in 2012, but that will change in 2013. Jazz festivals in Europe and a return trip to Turkey, as well as many invitations from other travelers, beckon.

Oh, the excitement, hope and promise of creating those New Year’s business-related resolutions! What plans do you have to take your business to the next level? Share your strategies in the comment section below!

Contributed by guest blogger Chris Ruys of Chris Ruys Communications.

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Filed under Business, Entrepreneur, Goldman Sachs, Marketing, Small Business, Small Business Saturday, Uncategorized, WBDC, Women Business Owner

Entrepreneurial Growth Powered by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Insights on the inaugural Chicago program from three cohort members as told to the Women’s Business Development Center’s (WBDC) Bethany Hartley

 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national investment to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services.” – Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Greater Chicago Fact Sheet.

With sixteen years in business, Total Event Resources has established itself as a WBE certified, award winning meeting and event production agency providing services throughout the nation.  Kathy Miller, president of Total Event Resources, heard about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at the WBDC 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference.

 “It was at the September WBDC conference that I was introduced to the 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative through Mayor Emanuel’s speech, then watching the video and finally walking the trade show floor where I believe the stars aligned.  A woman that was in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses booth promoting the program stopped me as I was walking through the trade show to ask me if I knew anything about this program, to which my reply was, ‘Yes, as a matter of fact, I just heard the Mayor talk about it and saw the video, it sounds intriguing.’”

Kathy explains highlights of the program in detail:

“We meet as our full class, and we have a small group within that class.  It is extremely interactive and engaging – this is not a lecture hall where we sit and take notes.  We are fully engaged in rolling up our sleeves and working together and sometimes independently on our business. No two sessions have been the same, there have been some amazing business professionals that have been brought to us in the form of a panel discussion and the involvement of Goldman Sachs, the City Colleges of Chicago, Babson College, the Mayor’s Office, the 10,000 Small Businesses Partners and the local business community.”

In February 2009, Navjot Bajwa started Ocean Mist Inc., a certified WBE/MBE/DBE trucking company operating throughout the Chicagoland area. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program has been most beneficial in preparations for the future of her company.

“This program is preparing me to take my company to the next level and giving me skills, tools, resources and strategies for that.  It has all the tools you need to grow your business.”

Navjot has taken away financial guidance and much more to use beyond the classroom.

“We are participants in the program with the same dreams and challenges.  Everybody is very helpful and concerned and I found a supportive group of friends through this program.  The best thing I like about the sessions is you never get bored or tired and every session gives you so much confidence!”

Joanna Sobran is president of MXOTech, a six year old WBE certified company that focuses on offering expertise in both application development and network system design and management.  Joanna provided insight into the 10,000 Small Businesses initial session in our January AWB article and has continued to share her experience so far.  Like Kathy and Navjot, Joanna also has taken away important financial guidance:

“Understanding the financials better has been instrumental to ask the right questions of myself and my team.  This has already changed many aspects of our business and given us focus on services that are more profitable.”

Words of advice for those thinking about applying:

“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is an amazing opportunity to help a small and even mid-size business owner realize focus and vision for their business.  Whether you have been in business for a long time and need a face lift or are just starting out, this is a terrific program.  You will learn about sales, marketing, finance, being ‘bankable’ and possessing true leadership skills.  Best of all, you will met many amazing entrepreneurs where you can share your stories and exchange ideas to help you grow.”

Kathy echoes Joanna’s advice on applying to the program:

Apply, don’t procrastinate, it is one of the best business decisions I have ever made!  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has made a huge investment in the future of small businesses and the 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative is an incredible program.”

If you’re looking for this type of intensive, interactive and practical business education, we encourage you to apply for the next Chicago cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.  Applications are being accepted now.


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Filed under Business, Business Leaders, Business Start-up, Entrepreneur, Established Business, Finance, Goldman Sachs, Small Business, WBDC, Women Business Owner, Women in Business