Every big business started as a small business. Jim Koch, founder of The Boston Beer Company, like any entrepreneur, knows the struggles of being a small business owner. One of the biggest challenges is securing capital in a tight credit market.
Recently, Koch, one of America’s best known entrepreneurs, announced Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a program whose mission is to partner with low and moderate income entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry and provide the tools they need to help them grow and succeed. In creating this program, Boston Beer formed a partnership with ACCION USA, the country’s leading not-for-profit micro-lending organization.
Boston Beer has invested a $250,000 commitment to establish the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Micro-Loan Fund with ACCION, which provides capital and other types of assistance to lower and moderate income micro-entrepreneurs whose businesses might not otherwise be approved for a bank loan.
Koch also is supporting small businesses by developing a series of business education and financial literacy seminars designed to meet the educational needs of food and beverage entrepreneurs and offering advice and expertise of Samuel Adams employees through regular events geared towards micro-entrepreneurs. Koch explains:
“When I started Samuel Adams back in 1984, the odds were stacked against me, and so as the company grew and became more successful we naturally identified with other ‘little guys’ who benefited from a leg up to help achieve their dreams. Over the years we’ve found ways to help aspiring home brewers, microbreweries, screenwriters, fiction writers, and sportscasters. With our partnership with ACCION USA we are now able to focus on small business owners in our own industry and give them the support they need to thrive.”
America benefits when successful business owners created or sponsored many programs that help others achieve their dreams. Small business owners — particularly those in the food and beverage industry like Shaun Clancy at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant and Barry O’Donovan, owner of Kilkenny House in Cranford, NJ — know what being a successful small business owner is all about. They understand what it is work hard, count their pennies, and provide a product/service that customers want and will keep coming back to get.
Government officials aren’t able to do that. Entrepreneurs can. I applaud people like Jim Koch for mentoring others and showing them the way.
Brewing Photo via Shutterstock