Kathy Boelter, Billings, founder and President of Arrow Solutions Group, was recently accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, a very coveted award for small business owners who demonstrate dynamic leadership in business.
The program, a co-investment between Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies, focuses on job creation and economic development. It offers participants an MBA-style curriculum developed by Babson College in Boston. It touches on issues such as increasing operations, expanding financial literacy and developing a growth strategy.
There is no charge to the business owners who are selected to participate, and the program pays for all expenses associated with travel and lodging.
Boelter spent one week in August studying at the college and will go again in November. In the meantime, back home, she spends about 20 hours a week studying, and twice a week she participates in virtual classes and discussion groups, in which a tight-knit group of about 10 – 30 students challenge each other regarding their business decisions and ideas, asking questions and sharing ideas. The students are owners of almost every kind of business imaginable and they are located all across the country.
The program has proven very successful, with graduates going on to increase their revenues and creating new jobs in their communities. Following up on students who have graduated, the program has shown that within six months, 61 percent of them have created new jobs.
Arrow Solutions Group is an Information Technology staffing and recruiting company. It is a service provider for companies who use technology, specializing in matching technology employees with employers who need technology expertise. And while not really a technology company, themselves, Arrow Solutions Groups employs a lot of technology professionals.
Boelter started the business in 2009, drawing upon her experience of managing and overseeing technology projects. Her husband, Jim, joined the company as vice president in charge of operations in 2014. They employ seven people on a regular basis and hire between ten and thirty contract professionals depending on the number of projects they have.
One must apply to be considered for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Eligibility requires a specific performance record in terms of a business’ longevity and annual revenues and they must have at least three employees. Boelter hopes that other Montana business owners will check into this opportunity and apply to participate themselves.
Boelter sits on the board for the Montana Chamber of Commerce and on the board for the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana. She formerly served on the board for St. Vincent Healthcare and is on the advisory board for the Montana High Tech Business Alliance.