Sandy Taccone, CEO of Blue Blaze Associates, was the only Delawarean among 30 business owners who recently graduated as the 17th cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses – Greater Philadelphia program.
10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment by Goldman Sachs to help entrepreneurs create jobs and build economic opportunity by providing them access to business education, financial capital, and support services. Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porterare the chairs of the organization’s advisory council.
Blue Blaze Associates, co-owned by Sandy Taccone and Wendy Scott, is a full-service strategic marketing and design firm based in Newark. Since 2001, Blue Blaze has been helping other businesses and organizations find their brand voice, tap into new markets, launch products and services, build engaging websites, and promote social causes.
“The 10,000 Small Businesses program has been an inspirational and transformative learning experience,” said Taccone. “I can wholeheartedly say this program is brilliantly designed, and I’m a better business owner for it. But most importantly, I came away with a practical and actionable growth plan that will move Blue Blaze forward into the future.”
The intensive 14-week curriculum was developed by Babson College. The program covers a variety of business topics including accounting, human resources, negotiation, and marketing.
Classes for businesses based in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are taught by faculty at the Community College of Philadelphia. More than 8,000 small business owners throughout the country have completed the 10KSB program since 2009, including more than 450 scholars at the Philadelphia site. To date, only ten businesses from Delaware have been selected for this competitive scholarship program.
The ten owners of Delaware companies who are alumni of the 10KSB program are:
- Moril Folarin –Fishing, Inc., Wilmington
- Suzanne Swift –SpecSimple (now based in New York, NY)
- David Rhodes –Maven Security Consulting, Saint Georges
- Daniel Culp –Pride Klean, Wilmington
- Marian Young –BrightFields, Wilmington
- Coleman (Corky) Bye –Mercantile Press, Wilmington
- Donna Duffy –3E Marketing Solutions, Wilmington
- Kim Adams –Mountain Consulting, Dover
- Suzanne Howarth –Elegantly Set in Stone, Wilmington
- Sandy Taccone –Blue Blaze Associates, Newark
The next application deadline for the program in Philadelphia is February 5. The business owners who are selected for this cohort of 30 students will start classes in May. To apply, go to: https://10ksbapply.com/
A 2018 report by Babson College found that just six months after graduating the program, 67 percent of participants reported increasing their revenues, 47 percent of participants reported creating net new jobs, and 88 percent of participants have worked together with other program participants. The program maintains a 98.5 percent graduation rate.