If you’ve ever watched ABC’s “Shark Tank” you’d agree that the true value for a business owner to take on investors isn’t really about the money. Let’s face it, in a financial pinch, most of us could probably resort successfully to the famous three Fs of finance: Family, Friends, and Fools.
The elements that make investors worthwhile are their contacts, their industry experience, and more importantly, their business knowledge. Here’s how Mark Cuban, a self-made billionaire and regularly an investor on Shark Tank, puts it: “entrepreneurs don’t fail for lack of resources, it’s their lack of brains.” That’s not to say we entrepreneurs are somehow less smart or unimaginative, but it does reinforce the idea that we don’t know it all and, like professional athletes, we too must to go back to basics regularly to acquire new insights and new knowledge.
Just this morning, GE released findings from its annual survey on innovation; and business education topped the list of priorities among entrepreneurs.
To that end, I recently came across the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, and not only is the program measuring its success by the companies it grows, plus business genius Warren Buffett is involved — best of all — it’s a free opportunity. Of course you must meet certain criteria, but it’s simple.
Here’s what I have on the program: The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services. The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth.
If you’re in Southern California, the criteria to be eligible is:
- Applicant must be an owner or co-owner of a business
- Business in operation for at least two years
- Business revenues between $150,000 and $4.0 million in the most recent fiscal year
- At least 4 employees (including the owner)
Again, it’s a free program, please take advantage. Here’s where to sign up:
If this program isn’t for you, make somebody’s year and share it with them.