Baltimore is one of the four cities where Goldman Sachs is piloting a new program to provide college students with internships at small businesses.
The 10,000 Small Businesses Fellows Program is launching at Northeast Baltimore’s Morgan State University and three-campus Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
The program will offer semester-long paid internships at businesses that are struggling in the pandemic. The idea is to help students with career pathways, and relieve a burden on hiring for small businesses.
“Today’s launch is the product of many months of listening and learning from small business leaders,” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in a statement issued Monday. “We’ve heard how entrepreneurs are struggling to find the talent they need, and our platform is perfectly designed to connect them with promising students.”
The program builds on the 10,000 Small Businesses program, a program supporting entrepreneurs that has provided programming for 460 entrepreneurs in Baltimore. Fellows will be able to connect with alumni of the program.
A survey of the entrepreneurs found that roles critical to helping these businesses recover from the pandemic’s economic shock and marketplace shifts are often the toughest to fill.
The Fellows program “gives students a front row seat to entrepreneurship by coming into a small business and learning from some of our most successful alumni,” said Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, in a statement. “They will learn the business but they will also witness the passion.”
Alongside Baltimore, the program is also launching at colleges in New York, Dallas and Cleveland. In all, Goldman Sachs plans to create 250 internships.
We’ll be interested to see how fellows help the small businesses. This is a fresh approach for an internship program, which typically pairs students with bigger companies. Baltimore City and a coalition of tech organizations showed a similar bent toward fledgling firms with a software internship program this summer. While these are in pilot phase, they point to growing recognition that internships can help small businesses, which form a big segment of the economy.