Goldman Sachs has committed $100 million to help rural small business owners raise capital and grow their enterprises.
The banking firm’s 10,000 Small Businesses program announced the investment in a press release published Friday, September 8. According to the Goldman Sachs website, the initiative has provided education, funding opportunities and other forms of support for 14,000 U.S. entrepreneurs since its creation in 2009. The company plans to divide the new $100 million among three groups: community lenders funding rural small business owners will receive $75 million; community college courses hosted by the 10,000 Small Businesses organization will receive $15 million; local entrepreneurs will receive the remaining $10 million in the form of grants.
In its release, Goldman Sachs reported that many rural small business owners are unable to scale their enterprises as they lack access to capital investments, pointing to an accompanying survey that found only 7% of rural entrepreneurs felt they received adequate support from non-government entities. Limited access to child care, healthcare and labor were also cited as obstacles to expansion. Noting such individuals employ roughly 65% of their local workforces, the company argued that these conditions are also holding back economic growth. As the financial firm has elected to distribute a majority of its $100 million investment to local businesses through indirect methods, its goal to assist these organizations and their surrounding communities will only be achieved if entrepreneurs take advantage of the new funds.
As emphasized by Goldman Sachs, rural small business owners are a key resource for their communities, providing jobs, attracting commerce and creating opportunities. However, such enterprises are naturally neglected by typical lenders and education institutions, as they represent a smaller portion of the national economy than competitors in more populous states. If more entrepreneurs were to leverage private and government programs that prioritize small business growth in underserved areas, this could help reverse these tendencies and ultimately ensure wealth is distributed more evenly between different parts of the country. To read more about the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, visit their website here.