Monday, November 30, 2009

Alms for the Poor Entrepreneur

Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffet have teamed up to give money to low-income entrepreneurs. But there's a catch. Most of the money will be connected to courses the entrepreneurs must take from community colleges and small business development centers. I used to run a small business center at Norwalk Community College and had a federal grant to mentor low-income people who wanted to start businesses. It was very worthwhile work. Out of 80 people we mentored, about three actually started businesses.

That's why I wish that some of the Goldman-Buffet largess ($500 million) would also go to entrepreneurs who already know what they are doing but are finding it hard to get the capital to jump-start their businesses. I know several entrepreneurs like that.

Banks have cut way back on the money they're lending to small business. They are cutting back on credit lines and credit cards. Small businesses are hurting badly, even though new small businesses are the engines of growth and employment in our great country.

I think community colleges are wonderful. And I believe it is essential for business owners and entrepreneurs to understand business. But there are many other ways I believe this money could help more businesses to get started and grow.

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