“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel during his speech to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates on June 12th. I was sitting among the graduates and I found Mayor Emanuel’s words moving and inspirational. It was a career highlight, to say the least!
During the ceremony and pre-ceremony gathering, we were also given the amazing privilege of meeting, and learning from, Warren Buffett. Yes, the Warren Buffett. This once in a lifetime opportunity to meet one of the most successful, inspiring businessmen the world has ever known is something I will never forget.
Over the past twenty weeks, through the City Colleges of Chicago and Babson University, I studied accounting, human resources, negotiation, marketing, leadership skills and much more alongside 36 other small business owners. The program, sponsored by Goldman Sachs, was a boutique MBA. All classes and courses were tailored to the struggles that small business owners face. What an eye opening experience this was! I walked away looking at my business more critically and have already implemented some changes on our processes and the markets that we are pursuing.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I was given to be part of the inaugural Chicago 10,000 Small Businesses class, and I hope other small business owners are as lucky as I was and get the opportunity to participate in this amazing program.
- Kelly Gallagher