Clothes-Minded

A Helping Hand

What: A job search and networking Web site for former employees of Arthur Andersen
Who: Jonathan Goldsmith, founder of AndersenAlumni.net
Where: Chicago
When: April 2002

After getting laid off from accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Jonathan Goldsmith was inspired to make a fresh start-not only for himself, but also for his co-workers who had also lost their jobs. "Andersen was such a family," explains Goldsmith, 29. So he started his Web site, AndersenAlumni.net, a place where former Andersen employees could network, post resumes and find new job listings.

His sales are based on advertising, as Goldsmith didn't want to charge the Andersen alums a membership fee. At first, people had their doubts. "Everybody was telling me it was a stupid idea," he says. But not charging membership actually helped Goldsmith build a user base and attract advertisers. In fact, the advertisers sought him out after they heard about the site via word-of-mouth.

Now, with a user base of more than 6,000 Arthur Andersen alums and sales expected to surpass $70,000 this year, Goldsmith is looking to expand his business. He'd like to hire a staff (he's currently a sole proprietor), seek out more advertisers, and add new features and services for Andersen alums.

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This article was originally published in the August 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Clothes-Minded.

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