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Results are starting to emerge. The Community College of Philadelphia and Harper College, a two-year institution located in Illinois, recently announced tuition-free plans, joining one the City Colleges of Chicago created last year, which the White House has touted.

52% of Philadelphia companies create new jobs after graduating

Philadelphia, PA -- A new report released today from Babson College found that the small business owners who have completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program grow their revenue and create jobs at rates that outperform the broader economy. The report surveyed approximately 2,300 of the nearly 5,000 scholars who have now benefited from the program, including some of those who completed the coursework at Community College of Philadelphia. Greater Philadelphia’s graduates thus far have surpassed Goldman Sachs' national performance rate for net job creation. Among the key findings:

  • Forty-six percent of participants nationally and 52 percent of Philadelphia graduates have reported creating net new jobs just six months after graduating, compared to 22 percent of U.S. small businesses according to a survey by the National Small Businesses Association (NSBA). After 18 months, the national rate for creating net new jobs climbed to 51 percent for graduates.
  • Sixty-seven percent of participants nationally and 61 percent of the Philadelphia graduates have reported increasing their revenues just six months after graduating – compared to 45 percent of U.S. small businesses according to a NSBA survey  (After 18 months, the national rate for those graduates increasing revenues rose to 76 percent.)

The Babson College national report, Stimulating Small Business Growth: Progress Report on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, details the progress of the thousands of small business owners that have participated in the 10,000 Small Businesses program, which helps entrepreneurs across the United States grow their businesses and create jobs.  “These results confirm that small businesses continue to play a central role in spurring economic growth and job creation in their communities and nationwide and are so pleased to see how this program has contributed to their success,” said Dina Habib Powell, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and head of the firm’s Impact Investing business.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter added the program has brought critical educational resources to a vital economic sector in the city. “Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has provided Philadelphia with an entrepreneurial boost demonstrated in the job creation and increased revenues our small business owners are already showing. It has also helped executives at these small businesses to network, share resources and collaborate so they can handle larger projects,” Mayor Nutter said.

The program maintains a 99 percent graduation rate and fosters a marketplace where 84 percent of graduates do business together. Businesses that collaborate generally more often report growth in revenues and growth in jobs, the survey found. The number of business owners reporting increased revenue and/or increased jobs generally increases along with the intensity of the type of collaboration. In Philadelphia, 169 have graduated to-date, with the majority also finding ways that they then refer work to or contract with other graduates. In fact, four small businesses from the 10,000 Small Businesses program have moved into shared space at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Others have organized capital for investing in other small businesses. Many of the alumni maintain a strong connection to their peers through shared activities and professional events available exclusively to them.

Since 2013, when Mayor Nutter announced the program would expand to include Philadelphia, a number of the local graduates have received honors for their business prowess. Four of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber’s 2014 Small Business Excellence award winners were 10,000 Small Businesses alumni; seven made the Philly 100 and two of the five most recent Small Business Administration regional winners were Greater Philadelphia 10,000 Small Businesses alumni.

Community College of Philadelphia even has had some of its own alumni – graduates earning associate's degrees - enroll and complete the Goldman Sachs program.  Luis Torrado of Torrado Construction is just one of the College’s success stories from Philadelphia’s developing entrepreneurial economy.  His business is located on E. Thompson Street in Port Richmond and has been around for almost two decades. ”I developed a skill set and confidence from 10,000 Small Businesses that did play out fairly immediately in revenue and job growth within those first six months,” Lou Torrado said “More significant, though, is the path we are on now to grow to more than triple what we were eighteen months ago when we completed the program. That is a lot of new Philadelphia jobs.”

“The College continuously seeks new ways to help Philadelphians create life-changing opportunities, whether it is by training for a new career, transferring to a baccalaureate-level institution or growing a business,” said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia. “The Goldman Sachs program provides a learning hub for a diverse array of the region’s talented social and business entrepreneurs.”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses 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 for small businesses. 10,000 Small Businesses is guided by an Advisory Council on which Babson President Kerry Healey serves, and is co-chaired by Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Bloomberg L.P. founder, president and CEO, and 108th Mayor of the City of New York Michael R. Bloomberg, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City’s Dr. Michael Porter.

To apply to 10,000 Small Businesses, visit www.ccp.edu/10KSB.

After graduating from George Washington High School in the Northeast in 2010, Larry Liam Ching Liu breezed through Community College of Philadelphia and earned an associate's degree with honors.

The Center for Male Engagement at the Community College of Philadelphia has been an oasis for Shawn Jorden.He needed help outside the classroom. He got it without leaving the campus.

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Another high-ranking administrator, William C. Thompson, vice president for institutional advancement, is also leaving.  He previously spent 10 years at the School District of Philadelphia and 12 at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media at the Community College of Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Her family later moved to Upper Darby. Jenna took real estate courses at Community College of Philadelphia but did not get her real estate license, although her grades were always good.

The Rail Park is said to traverse 50 city blocks and connect several neighborhoods, which would help to knit the city together. There is also a cultural linking element to the project, as the route passes close by arts and cultural city institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania's community colleges are among the less noticed beneficiaries of Gov. Wolf's proposed budget. The schools, which served more than 300,000 students last year, would see their funding grow by 7 percent, or $15 million, under the plan, which is tied up in a political standoff that went into overtime Wednesday.

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