ANKENY – Jenny Steffensmeier, owner of Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing in Pilot Grove, is one of two area businesswoman selected to participate in the first Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Iowa.
Steffensmeier is one of 37 scholars from 20 Iowa counties ranging from Iowa’s largest city to towns with a population of under 1,000. They represent a diverse range of business and industry including restaurants, architecture, professional services and healthcare.
“Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is offered for free as a philanthropic investment to help small business entrepreneurs create growth, jobs and economic opportunity across the country – or in this case, across Iowa from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River,” said Katherine Jollon Colsher, National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
For the first time, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is being offered in Iowa, exclusively to Iowa small businesses. It is hosted at Des Moines Area Community College, delivered in partnership with Iowa’s community college. The curriculum was developed in partnership with Babson College, which was recently named the top college in America for entrepreneurship for the 22nd year in a row by US News and World Report.
“Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa’s entire community college system is proud to partner with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to offer Iowans access to this free, exceptional curriculum developed by Babson College” said DMACC President Dr. Rob Denson. “Small business is the backbone of Iowa’s economy. In seeing the high level of interest from applicants and the high-caliber of scholars selected, it’s clear that Iowa was the right choice for this statewide offering of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.”
The class will last for three months, with scholars taking a blend of in-classroom and online learning. The classes cover everything from identifying growth opportunities, refining operations processes, marketing and selling, understanding and using financial statements and leadership training. Business owners who have taken the program sometimes call it a real-world MBA – where small business owners focus on growing their business, using their own business as a case study.
Since the inception of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the national program has been a tremendous success. Sixty-seven percent of alumni report increased revenues six months after graduating, 47 percent report hiring employees during the same time period, and nearly 88 percent of graduates do business with one another.
Those eligible for the program have been in business for at least two years, have at least $100,000 in revenue, and have at least two employees, including the business owner.
Ann March, of Bark & Play Daycare and Suites in West Burlington was also selected to participate in the program.