Investment bank Goldman Sachs is taking a program statewide that is geared toward helping small businesses grow and add employees.

Launched in 2012 at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, 10,000 Small Businesses, also called 10KSB, is being expanded to Columbus State Community College, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and Sinclair Community College in Dayton. Goldman will formally announce the expansion Friday afternoon in Columbus.

Goldman launched the initiative in 2010 as the economy was coming out of the Great Recession. The free program provides entrepreneurs with a practical business education, business support services and access to capital, which many small-business owners say they need to grow.

Goldman has spent $15 million so far on the program in Cleveland and will commit another $15 million to extend it to the other Ohio cities.

The curriculum was designed by Babson College, a private business college in Massachusetts.

"Fundamentally, we were looking at the United States economy. Where do we see opportunities for growth and growth that could impact the communities where we work and live?" said Asahi Pompey, Goldman's head of corporate engagement and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

To be eligible, businesses should have annual revenue of at least $150,000, been in operation more than two years, have at least two full-time employees, and have a desire to grow and create jobs.

Participants learn about negotiation, marketing and employee management. They also receive the professional support they need to develop a plan to boost sales and profit.

Haleema Shafeek, 46, of Hilliard, graduated from the 100-hour program in 2017, taking courses online and at Babson.

Since then, annual revenue at her company, Green Office Furniture Solutions in Columbus, has more than doubled to $3 million, the company now has three employees, and she has developed new revenue streams that have allowed her to become more diversified.

"I've been working this business since 2008 and was having trouble in terms of making it grow," she said, and that's why she signed up for the program.

She said the classes were especially helpful for learning how to decipher financial statements.

"I want it to be a sustainable, growing business," she said, which one day could become valuable enough to sell or pass along to her children.

Business owners who want to participate can learn more at Goldman is expecting about 30 business owners in the first class in Columbus.

The deadline to apply is July 5 and the classes at Columbus State will be held in the fall.

Since Goldman started the program, 8,200 small businesses in 16 cities, including Cleveland, have benefited. Another 1,100 business owners such as Shafeek have received training online and at Babson. About 700 businesses have been helped in Ohio.

The training is paying off for business owners who have participated, the bank says.

Two-thirds say their revenue was higher six months after graduation. That rises to 74% of the participants after 18 months and 78% after 2½ years.

Nearly half of those who have gone through the program says they have created new jobs within six months, and that goes up to 55% in 18 months.

The revenue and hiring numbers are stronger than comparable national data for small businesses.

"We just think it is a catalyst for economic growth," said John Waldron, Goldman's president and chief operating officer. "We like to put our capability behind that. It's one of our reasons for being."