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Photo Courtesy of Kudzu Brands

Kudzu Brands Selected for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Local branding agency Kudzu Brands was recently selected to participate in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Spring Cohort at Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Babson helped develop the curriculum for this mini MBA style program.

Launched in 2009, the 10,000 Small Businesses Program is a $500 million initiative designed to help small-business owners increase revenue and create jobs in their respective markets.

Goldman Sachs offers the program on full scholarship to eligible small businesses. Participants are selected through a competitive application process that includes the submission of a business plan along with a demonstrated desire for growth. Other qualifications include being in operation for at least two years, having four or more employees and meeting minimum revenue requirements for the most recent fiscal year.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be chosen to participate in the 10,000 Small Businesses Program. We are in our 8th year of business and are ready to start making plans for the next decade. I am looking forward to everything this amazing program has to offer and being able to bring back what I learn to support the team at Kudzu, as well as other local businesses.”  says Murphy Funkhouser Capps, Kudzu’s CEO and Chief Brand Strategist.

Kudzu Brands was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Murphy and Kenny Capps. The business has grown from their living room to occupying two floors of a historic building in downtown Black Mountain, with a growing staff of 10 employees. Murphy serves as the company’s CEO and Chief Brand Strategist. Her background includes twenty years in corporate training, marketing, and management. Kenny oversaw the print and production side of the business until, due to a health issue, he stepped out of the company and Murphy took over ownership in 2015.

Earlier this year, Heather Johnson joined the Kudzu team as Managing Partner and Business/Operations Manager. Heather brings with her over two decades of diverse experience, particularly in corporate and B2B marketing strategy for large manufacturing and technology firms.

“I am pleased to have joined the team at Kudzu. Murphy and the whole team have been so welcoming. I feel like I’ve been here for years. The creativity, positive energy and dedication to the clients is exemplary and why they’ve grown so much in a relatively short period of time.  Our being chosen to be a part of 10,000 Small Businesses is not only an amazing honor and opportunity, but hopefully will also give us additional tools and knowledge that will enable Kudzu and our clients to continue to grow.”

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program provides small business owners with a practical business education, opportunities for one-on-one business advising, and ongoing support for alumni.  Furthermore, Goldman Sachs works with local lenders to help provide expanded access to capital for small businesses. Program participants learn through a series of nine course modules that give them hands-on experience with things like company financials, negotiations, marketing, and securing financing. In addition, they receive the tools and professional support they need to develop a strategic and customized business growth plan. To date, the program has served over 7,700 small business owners across all 50 states, and has resulted in immediate and sustained business growth for the alumni of the program. Businesses who undergo the program report up to 70% growth in revenues and number of employees, within 2 years.

Funkhouser-Capps will be taking part in the 10,000 Small Businesses Program on-site at Babson College between February and April of this year.

About Jill Lieberman

I grew up in Western North Carolina, and like many who grew up here, left for bigger and better things. I ended up choosing to come right back where I started. I have lived in cities from Manhattan to San Francisco to Atlanta. Asheville is my favorite. After getting a master’s degree in journalism with a public relations focus, my first job was with an agency in Greenville working on crisis communications for the hospital system. That began a career where I’ve handled almost every job there is in PR/marketing /media, from copywriter to media buyer to event planner to salesperson. I was in the trenches during the first dot com boom and bust and worked with Google before it became a verb. I’ve written regular columns for publications on beauty products and how to navigate the internet.