NEWS: KANAVA’s Carol Yee Selected for ‘10,000 Small Businesses’ Program

More than two-thirds of program participants saw revenue growth within six months.

Carol FFs.jpg

KANAVA International is proud to announce that our Chief Operating Officer (COO), Carol Yee, has been selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Program. The program offers continuing business education through Babson College, a network of executive mentors, and access to capital through “mission-driven small business lenders.”

“I am a lifelong learner and understand the importance of networking and learning from others,” says Carol. Although her biography includes an MBA, a Certificate in Corporate Executive Leadership, and a Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting, Carol says the 10KSB opportunity offers something her earlier educational achievements couldn’t.

“All of this education was undertaken before I became COO of KANAVA,” she notes. “When you are in a leadership position and part-owner of a company, you are concerned about the business from different angles, so participating in the 10KSB program is perfect for me to learn more as a business owner.”

Of the 6,000 small businesses that have entered the program so far, more than two-thirds saw an increase in revenue within six months of joining the program, and nearly 80 percent reported revenue growth after 30 months. That’s compared to a national average of 47 percent among U.S. businesses.

 Screenshot from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses  website . 

Screenshot from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses website

Carol points out that, although it “covers businesses from all spectrums, not just international development,” the Goldman Sachs program will be especially relevant to KANAVA’s work, which focuses on building the capacity of local organizations. Through its signature Impact Strengthening Development (ISD) tool, KANAVA has helped organizations from Afghanistan to Cambodia to West Africa strengthen their management systems and become more sustainable.

KANAVA Chief Executive Officer Susan Puska added that, while 10KSB participants sell different products and services, “we all face the same challenges” to growth. “Overcoming challenges to scale up our business is our goal at KANAVA. We are very excited about Carol’s selection and look forward to the knowledge and ideas Carol will bring to KANAVA through the 10KSB program.” 

Carol credits her early experience working in her father’s drugstore, Carol Drugs, with teaching her what it takes to run a successful small business. “From when I was old enough to stand on a box and reach the cash register, I worked in my father’s pharmacy,” she recalls. “From dealing with vendors, inventory, and staff, I learned that there is no substitute for hard work and commitment.”

Complementing that work ethic with the resources afforded by the 10KSB program will help her grow as a business owner, but Carol also wants to apply those resources toward ensuring KANAVA’s business continues “scaling up.”

“KANAVA is entering its fifth year of operations,” says Carol. “As a company that is growing organically, we have a lot to learn, not only from experts, but also from colleagues facing the same or similar challenges.”

According to a Babson College report, small businesses create 63 percent of new private-sector jobs, employing nearly half of America’s private workforce -- or 58 million people. 10KSB participants alone have generated more than $9 billion in revenue  

Read more about the 10KSB Program here.

Samer Badawi