BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was graduation day for over 100 of Baltimore’s small business owners.

Keiya Yalcin is the proud owner of Fishnet Restaurant, but when it came to growing her small business, she didn’t know how to do it.

“I just didn’t have the sound financial practices to scale my business,” she said.

The same could be said for many others.

“When you think about what’s available to most of these small business owners, they just don’t have the access necessarily or the tools,” CEO of Goldman Sachs David Solomon said.

Statistics show that cities suffer without small businesses.

“If small businesses were not apart of our landscape, we would have enormously high unemployment rates, and we would not have the kind of economy that we have now,” Morgan State University President David Wilson said.

The solution? Morgan State started hosting a program for entrepreneurs created by Goldman Sachs.

“Most people start as young entrepreneurs,” Solomon said. “They have an idea, and they get going, and all of a sudden, they have a bigger business and they need some help.”

The program is called 10,000 Small Businesses.

“Small businesses really are the engines that drive a city’s economy,” Wilson said. “Be it Baltimore City or any other city.”

It’s a three-month program that teaches students how to find capital and manage money.

“After the 10,000 Small Business Program, I finally found out what I was doing wrong,” Yalcin said.

Mayor Jack Young was there to see the 110 small business owners graduate.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our city,” Young said.

Annie Rose Ramos

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