Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019, Chicago. This has been a milestone year for me. With the graduation of our 25th Cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Businesses program at Harold Washington College, our local Chicago site. In the past nine years, our facilitator team has advised over 700 business owners on the strategies to support business operations while scaling the business. This program also operates in eighteen other community college sites around the country and to date, nearly 10,000 businesses have attended the workshops during the nine-year period. What makes me most proud of all is that I have been able to work with a dedicated, professional, and knowledgeable team of faculty and business advisors from Harold Washington College and Olive Harvey College during this nine (9) year run. Congrats Cohort 25 and sustain prosperity to you all! #sba #smallbusinessweek #enterpreneurship #womenownedbusinesses #goldmansachs #smallbusinesses #10ksbchicago #haroldwashingtoncollege #businessscaling #citycollegesofchicago

Meeting the requirements of the Paycheck Payment Program as a small business owner

If you have received payment under the CARES Act (Paycheck Payment Program) make sure you keep GOOD documentation in preparation for the future audit. For example, if you are a Corporation you should record the reasoning for applying for the PPP and you should record your proposed usage in your corporate minutes. In addition, you may want to open a separate bank account so you can clearly track your expenditures of these funds. Below is a great article on additional strategies to follow by

#womenownedbusiness #emergingleaders #smallbusinessowners #smallbizowner #businesswomen #businesswomenlinkup #businesswomeninthemaking #businesswomenday

Congrats to Cohort 14 10KSB National Program

I am so proud to congratulate my latest Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses cohort. Starting in August, this group of twenty-eight business owners began a journey ending this week to complete a five-year growth plan for their businesses. Demonstrating resilience, these capable owners committed to growing their businesses during an unprecedented time. Representing Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and multiple states across the United States these companies will continue to benefit their communities. Thank you to the Goldman Sachs 10KSB facilitators and staff for their contribution. #10ksb #10ksbchgo #smallbusiness #womenownedbusiness #smallbiz #womanentrepreneur #businesswomen #businesswomenlinkup #businesswomenontherise #businesswomeninthemaking #businesswomenrock #businesswomensday

Will my dreams die? Or will I seize my leadership moment…..

Many small business owners are grappling with the uncertainty surrounding them as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. I wrote this article was written to give owners a point of reference so that they can navigate through this moment. #GS10KSB #smallbusinessowners #womenownedbusiness #emergingleaders #GoldmanSachs #smallbusiness #businesswomen #buinesswomenlinkup #businesswomenontherise #businesswomeninthemaking #businesswomenday

It has been four grueling weeks. My peers and I within this diverse and wonderful small business community have laughed together and in the same conversation shared our fears and anxieties, not about the distant future, but about what will tomorrow bring. Often the question arises, “What should my next steps be to return to where I was?” Each day we are bombarded with ceaseless opinions from what seems to be hundreds of subject matter experts on how to recover from what has been a devastating worldwide event. However, these opinions are aspirational at best or speak to an audience that is much bigger and better positioned financially. An audience possessing the capabilities and financial reserves to weather this storm and market their way to a successful outcome. So I thought to myself, “But, what about us? What is our way forward?”

Then, a saw a powerful and thoughtful commercial by Go Daddy that I believe speaks to all of us who operate in an intimate entrepreneurial space. The marketing campaign is entitled Open. I believe the campaign reflects our passions, drives, and realities as small business owners. The ways we engage our customers, suppliers, and employees have changed and we must now develop new protocols. We deliver to our customers not only products and services but our very essence! Our employees are family to us and we seek to protect them because we understand that we not only elevate them but we support their families as well. Our sales transactions are not just figures recorded in a bookkeeper’s registry but represent the benefits of well-forged relationships earned by human sacrifice and personal efforts.   

Through a simple, but meaningful messaging, the Open promotion by Go Daddy shares an insight that will help all of us navigate the days ahead. Our businesses are not just, what we do nor are they just daily routines such as unlocking the door, turning on the lights or checking inventory. They are a product of a choice, our choice to act on a dream and to give it life. Do you remember your first day? Maybe you had a couple of prospects or no customers at all. You had a belief that what you had to offer stood alone in the marketplace and many would eventually see the value.  

When I started in my first entrepreneurial venture in real estate many of my associates questioned my decision. My partners and I had to build an identity for our business among established real estate franchises. Often, we received cold shoulders from colleagues in the business. Through persistence and countless hours, our name became known despite the economic upheaval caused by 9-11. We carved out a niche because we made the internal decision to open and face the unknown challenges before us. Failure was never considered an option; we were committed to building a reputation with our own hands. If we did not succeed, we could still stand before the mirror and our families proudly knowing we tried. We took our dreams and created something that did not exist before, and you know, that is what it is all about!

Understandably, the uncertainty that surrounds us now can feel paralyzing. Nevertheless, you have to tap into that inner spirit that first motivated you to step out into the market place with your concept and be open to that internal voice. Let that voice nurture you and inform you. Over the past ten (10) years, I have had the honor to meet hundreds of business owners and I have been impressed by what they have been able to develop from a small kernel in their mind. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, spoke to these moments like the one we are now in with the COVID-19 emergency. He described these moments when there is a clear mismatch between the past business model and the changing world around you. He said, “You [business owner] must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal acts of your current reality, whatever it may be.” He went on to say, “Leading from good to great doesn’t mean coming up with all the answers …it means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights.”

In my network, many of you are alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and US Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program. Remember, this is an unprecedented time. All industries are impacted equally. We all have to reboot. Communicate with the networks you have created within these fine programs. Create virtual advisory councils and not just problem solve, but opportunity find! Ask the questions you need to stabilize and sustain your business.  Be open to new strategies and business models. I am a person of faith and I know we will make it through this moment because I have been here before when my business was just a momentary thought.

In closing, may I leave the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Lives of great men all remind us … We can make our lives sublime [inspiring] …And, Departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time.” Be inspiring, be open to change, and seek support from your network. Be open to understanding you are not here because of a wrong action you have taken, but you are experiencing a worldwide event that has occurred outside of your control. We all share the same desire to rise above this moment. I love to hear from you. Please comment and share.

Announcing: Leadership Workshops for GS10KSB & SBA Emerging Leaders Graduates

Advanced Leadership Development, Financial Analysis & Planning and Hiring Tools for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Real issues and real results.

This Program is designed for leaders of small to medium-sized companies seeking to improve business performance or sustain business growth. We provide insights, strategies and leadership development to allow you to make better decisions and achieve better results.

At a glance:
· Learn key leadership insights that will improve decision-making
· Learn to develop a performance based business dashboard that tracks the right metrics.
· Learn how to use performance analysis to support organization and team development.
· Learn to turn documented business goals into a successfully executed business plan
· Learn to hire and retain high potential employees that fit your organization’s values and culture.
· Learn to better manage cash flow.
· Learn how to protect your business from financial fraud.

What we offer
We offer interactive, contextual and collaborative sessions to prepare small business leaders for what’s next. Our approach focuses on People, Education, and Solutions and emphasizes business performance using an adaptable well-reasoned approach that adjusts the way you think about your business. In other words, we focus on developing a leader’s mindset which will help you develop a targeted change management plan to drive future business success. The change management plan, defined by you, will spell out critical next steps forward.

Our approach was designed based on specific needs identified from countless hours, nearly 1,500 hours, in an advisory capacity with hundreds of small and medium sized businesses like yours. The series will be delivered in a cohort setting.

Format: 4- in person, interactive classroom sessions covering the following topics.

Module 1  – August 11, 2017

Leadership, Visioning and the Power of Communication

Module 2 – August 25, 2017

Financial Statement Analysis and Cash Flow Forecasting

Module 3 – September 15, 2017

Process of hiring and selecting employees for fit with your culture and values

Module 4 – September 29, 2017

Operating Budget and Fraud awareness. Cash management practices that reduce financial risks and protect financial assets


University of Chicago
Polsky Center – (Stagg Field Suite)
1463 E. 53rd Street
South Building; 2nd Floor
Chicago, Il. 60615

To register, please click “REGISTER NOW!!” below:


SBA Emerging Leaders Program-Small Business Initiative – Chicago

Chicago is the city of broad shoulders, and because of this fact, the city offers a number of programs to support small business owners. Available this Spring, starting April 3, 2017, the Regional Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) will sponsor their Emerging Leaders Program. This program helps small business owners improve their business operations, as well as introduces them to the vital services available from the SBA and provides guidance for becoming a government contractor. Business owners seeking to expand their services beyond the private sector should consider this program. Applications are being accepted now. Please contact the SBA Regional Office located at 500 W. Madison Street, Chicago, IL and become a part of the network! Their number is (312) 353-0357.

The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. Learn more from the video below.


Apply to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Apply to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program 

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program has been a successful and beneficial program to the Chicago-land business landscape. I personally have the honor to work in the program as a module instructor at the Chicago site (Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago) and also as an instructor for the national program. My four (4) -year involvement with the program has afforded me the opportunity to advised over five-hundred businesses representing the full spectrum of industries. This summer we will begin our eighteenth (18th) cohort. Each cohort meets for fifteen weeks and will spend time developing a comprehensive growth plan for their businesses. If you own a business with revenues between $150K to $7million, I encourage you to investigate the program and apply. Details can be found using the link below.

“Are you a small business owner looking to take your company to the next level? Applications are now being accepted for Cohort 18 of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program in Chicago. Please visit our website at for more information.

The application deadline is 2/1/2017.”

Program Executive Director

Fingertip Briefings, a service offered by Sagesse Lumiere. Sagesse Lumiere provides small business coaching and consulting services.Apply to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program