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Corporations Now in the Business of Mentoring Entrepreneurs

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Running a small business in America is difficult, especially because there are big box retailers and large corporations everywhere. The competition is fierce, and it can be hard to get noticed on the market. Now, some big businesses are teaming up with smaller ones and providing them with guidance, advice, and monetary support through educational programs.

According to Joseph Pisani of the AP, companies and brands like Macy’s, Martha Stewart, Boston Beer, and Goldman Sachs are giving small business owners a boost with their free and exclusive training courses.

When the two combine forces, each side reaps the benefits. For example, Psyche Terry, an intimate clothing supplier, participated in The Workshop at Macy’s, which “teaches women and minority entrepreneurs how to get their products into major retail stores,” writes Pisani.

Terry learned what clothing colors are the most popular and how to design her intimates line. Her sales increased 700 percent from 2012 to 2013, and now her products are being sold at Macy’s stores across the country. Macy’s came out of the deal with a great brand story, a giving reputation, and a new product. Terry figured out how to more effectively run her business and gain profits.

Goldman Sachs holds a similar course for entrepreneurs called the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Small business owners are told to write out a five-year plan and are given the opportunity to network with participants in different industries. According to Pisani and a survey by Babson College, 64% of the 582 small businesses that have gone through the program “said they increased their revenue six months after graduating and 45 percent added new jobs.”

The investment bank chooses to help out small business owners because it helps them recruit the best talent. Potential employees and recent college graduates want to work with Goldman Sachs because they are philanthropic and giving back to the community. Workers at the company are able to offer wisdom to the entrepreneurs and supply them feedback as well.

Whether the prize is education, a loan, or a chance to showcase products in a big store, small business owners are being given the break of a lifetime by gaining acceptance into these corporate programs. The bigger businesses are acquiring better employees and products, along with respect and admiration from workers and consumers.

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May 21st, 2014 at 8:31 am