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Local businesswomen graduate from training program

Two area woman graduated recently from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, an intensive entrepreneurship training program held at Babson College in Waltham, Mass.

Nancy R. Mendizabal, CIC, co-owner and agency principal with Apple Valley Insurance, Inc. of Smithfield, R.I., a resident of Glocester, and Christine Cunneen of Greenville, CEO of Hire Image LLC, a nationwide background screening, drug testing and verification services company based in Johnston, were among 137 entrepreneurs from 34 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico who completed the program, according to a press release.

The 11-week program helps small business owners create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services. Through a combination of online and in-person sessions, Ms. Mendizabal received intensive entrepreneurship and practical training from Babson’s business experts and peers, alongside educational teams who teach the 10,000 Small Businesses program at colleges across the U.S., the release said.

“We’re proud of our graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. These entrepreneurs put forth incredible effort to complete this program and we are confident their efforts will continue in growing their businesses. We are excited to watch their many successes,” states Kerry Healey, president of Babson College.

“While Apple Valley Insurance has been in business for two generations and over 50 years, we are always interested in finding ways of working smarter and more efficiently. The 10,000 Small Businesses program gave me valuable insight and knowledge about best business practices that I have shared with my team, and which we are excited about implementing,” says Ms. Mendizabal.

Ms. Mendizabal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and finance from Bentley University. She is a Certified Insurance Counselor and a Certified Insurance Services Representative.

She is also a member of the Smaller Business Association of New England the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Glocester Business Association.

“As a business owner of a national firm that provides background and drug screening services for a diverse range of clients, I found this program to be very useful,” said Ms. Cunneen. “The sessions allowed for an exchange of ideas between other business owners as well as nationally respected business leaders, and it gave me valuable guidance and perspective as I take my company to the next level.”