Sam's Club launches boot camp for small businesses

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer announced the launch of a collaborative program supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs in 25 cities. The Grow Your Business Boot Camp series offers hands-on training seminars backed by a funding commitment of $500,000 from Sam's Club.

The Boot Camp series allows local Sam's Club leaders to collaborate with community nonprofits and organizations to provide small business training seminars. These regional collaborations aim to empower local business owners — including those owned by women, minorities and veterans — to learn skills and ideas that can help their businesses thrive.

"I'm excited to kick off our Small Business Boot Camp in 25 markets across the country," announced Brewer at Walmart's annual shareholders meeting. "Associates [can] provide small business owners with valuable training and give these businesses the support to really succeed. [Together we are] making a difference community by community."

The events will be designed and executed by local nonprofits dedicated to small business success and selected by the Sam's Club Giving team. Local Sam's Club managers will participate in each event, which plans to host up to 50 small business owners and entrepreneurs per session. Each nonprofit will focus the curriculum on their key strengths or the top needs of the business owners in the community. Topics may include financial planning; microlending and accessing capital; marketing, branding and merchandising; customer acquisition; networking and growth strategies.

Events are expected to start in late summer in 25 markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis and Tulsa. Sites were selected based on location of local nonprofits serving small businesses, communities where national Sam's Club grantees such as SCORE Foundation have local outlets and feedback from local Sam's Club employees eager to participate.