Goldman Sachs starts $500 mn initiative to support small businesses

The '10,000 Small Businesses' is a USD 500-million initiative that will unlock the growth and job-creation potential of thousands of small enterprises across the US through greater access to business education, mentors and networks and financial capital, Goldman Sachs said.
Besides Buffett, the advisory council of the initiative include Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Michael Porter of Harvard Business School.

Meanwhile, citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said, "the new program is likely to be looked upon favourably by the Federal Reserve — Goldman's primary regulator."
This is likely to be the the second big charitable commitment made by financial services major this year. In October, the firm had announced a USD 200 million contribution to the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

In 2008, Goldman had launched its 10,000 Women effort to provide business education to women in emerging markets.
Regarding Goldman's role in the credit crisis the WSJ said, quoting Goldman's Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, "we participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret. We apologise."

The small-business programme would make USD 250 million in charitable contributions, with USD 200 million aimed at investor education and USD 50 million for grants to support community-development.
The remaining USD 250 million would be invested in institutions that will provide financing to small businesses.
The announcement of this charitable initiative comes amid public anger over Goldman Sach's compensation package.
So far this year Goldman has earmarked USD 16.71 billion for compensation and in June 2009 repaid USD 10 billion capital infusion it got from the US government in 2008.

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