Empowering Entrepreneurs

Empowering Entrepreneurs

Fostering closer ties between the city’s big and small businesses

When Baltimore’s small business owners gain traction in the local marketplace, the whole city reaps the benefits. That’s why Johns Hopkins has focused significant resources on educational programming in support of Baltimore’s small business community, including the city’s minority and women entrepreneurs.

In 2016, the BLocal partnership launched BUILD College, a 12-week program designed to help local minority- and women-owned construction-related businesses excel. Representatives from BLocal businesses, including Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Turner Construction, and First Mariner Bank, cover topics like bookkeeping, project management, and key skills like hiring accountants, lining up financing, and managing human resources. The program is geared toward established businesses looking to grow; companies must be at least two years old and generate at least $250,000 in annual revenue. Sixty-six business leaders completed the program by 2018. 

Johns Hopkins has also helped Baltimore become a permanent site for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, a program offering established entrepreneurs business education, support services, and access to capital to help them grow their businesses, create jobs, and increase revenues. The program is helping local small business owners beat the odds: Just six months after graduation, 67 percent of the Baltimore program’s alumni increased their revenue and nearly half of all graduates created new jobs—a significant leap ahead of their peers nationally.

Photo: Two cohorts of small business owners who participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Baltimore program graduated in August 2018 during a ceremony at R. House in Remington.