(L-R) Meet Jamine Moton, owner of The Skylar Firm; Clara Olguin, co-owner of CIC Floors; and Carla Carson, owner of Extreme Body Fitness.

 

Hard work for big dreams can pay off in unexpected ways. Just ask three of ACE’s clients who were tapped for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a four-month, Boston-based course of study that provides access to education, capital, business advisory services, and networking.

“It’s a great honor to be selected and a phenomenal experience designed to take a business to its next level, and beyond,” says Linda Jameson of L. Jameson Consultants who has provided one-on-one coaching with the honorees. “The fact that ACE has had three entrepreneurs within the past 5 years in this national program really speaks of how high-achieving they are.”

The ACE clients who were selected this year are Jamine Moton, CEO of The Skylar Firm and Clara Olguin of CIC Floors. Carla Carson of Extreme Body Fitness is a previous graduate.

Applicants are chosen based on rigorous interviews and a lengthy application process that includes essay questions. Then they are required to do online preparatory work before traveling to Babson College for more intensive study. “At Babson, we’re up at 8 a.m. and don’t finish until 8 p.m.,” says Carson, “and then back home we have homework assignments to complete.”

All in all, the program functions as a sort of jam-packed college seminar. “Babson is very exclusive, so for the students to have access to its resources is an honor,“ Jameson says.

Each quarter, around 150 students, who hail from all demographic and business models from across the country, are divided geographically and then subdivided into smaller circles who tackle group projects together.

“Rubbing elbows with so many other entrepreneurs who have goals similar to mine creates a certain energy that I find inspiring,” says Moton. “It’s the ultimate empowering experience. Now in regard to my business I’m starting to think not just in terms of millions, but in terms of billions.”

Olguin says, “They say you will really see a dramatic difference in your business six months after you graduate the program. It is nice for me to be undergoing it with another ACE client. We have been sharing with each other and supporting each other.”

Carson jokingly likens some of the exercises to the television show “Shark Tank.” “You learn to pitch your business so you will know how to speak with lenders and investors. You’re guided by bankers in expensive suits who know what they’re doing!”

Since she returned and began implementing her lessons in financials, Carson has staked out property where she is building a new, larger facility. “One of the goals I set at Goldman was leaving a generation legacy that will serve my descendants, and that is what I’m doing. Goldman is enabling me to make these plans.”

Even after students graduate, the Goldman Sachs program tracks them for three years. In time, they should find their ACE alumni thriving with bigger, better businesses.

Joshua Brackett, Chief Financial Officer for ACE, graduated from the Babson 10KSB program in 2015.  “The experience and curriculum are intensive and teaches you new ways to look at your business.  The topics are taught in a way that any entrepreneur or professional can learn and apply them.  They also utilize small groups to ensure that each business successfully plans for achievable growth coming out of the program.  As a result, you build a long-standing peer relationship with others who have been through the program and can continue to help advise after the program ends.”

 

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