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Greenlawn Landscaping co-owner Marla Cohen Graduates from the Goldman Sachs Initiative

Greenlawn Landscaping, Inc. co-owner, Marla Cohen, was chosen to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative at Harold Washington Community College.

Funded by Goldman Sachs and The Goldman Sachs Foundation, 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth, by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services. The curriculum comes from Babson College an Entrepreneurial College outside of Boston. The selection process is very competitive to find the best candidates to create new jobs and growth in Chicago. Marla is one of 22 owners of small businesses that were chosen for this honor in this 6th cohort.

Beginning in mid September through mid December 2013, Marla completed over 15 classes on some weekdays and nights for the course of three months. Along with the learning sessions, Marla was responsible for completing 6-8 hours of out-o-class activities to work on improving Greenlawn’s plan to grow. Through this program, Marla was learning and creating job strategies specific to Greenlawn’s success. The overall out-come of the initiative is for each entrepreneur to develop a customized growth plan for their business.

Survey data from across the country suggests that six months after graduating, approximately 70 percent of the graduates are growing and half are adding new jobs in their local communities.

Chicago is one of seven locations for 10,000 Small Businesses in the United States. In Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago is leading the business and management education program with the support of local partners including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Urban League, IFF, the Women’s Business Development Center, the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. These partners not only recruit small business owners from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods to apply to the program, but they also provide participants with best-in-class technical assistance and clinics. The program launched in Chicago in September 2011, committing $25 million for small business loans, business education and grants for supporting community partners.

“I’m honored to be a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and am looking forward to the opportunity provided by both Goldman Sachs and Harold