Warren Buffett’s Speech At The Small Business Summit

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Warren Buffett gives at speech at Goldman Sachs’ Small Business Summit.

Warren Buffett’s Speech At The Small Business Summit

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I appreciate that. When do you have to be eighty seven people stand and applaud at the start. Because they're not sure whether you're going to be around. And it's great to be with this group as it was eight years ago. I just turned 80. I never really talked to any graduation gropes or anything. It was short. It was not on my bucket list particularly. And then I got invited to go to LaGuardia to be LaGuardia during college. And I met a truly remarkable group that I did it whether it was male, female, Hispanic, African-American or whatever it might be. These people have one thing in common. They knew they had it in themselves. They knew they could be something beyond where they were. They were willing to put their time their energies to better themselves. And behind them as I saw when I got to the graduation on September 22nd they had to frequently they had parents who were crying as they receive those children receive their degrees as spouses they siblings. It was it was one of the great experiences of my life. And at that point I was hooked. So I went to New Orleans I went to Chicago I went to Detroit and Cleveland Baltimore had the most remarkable group of people. And if you'd told me that 22 or 23 hundred out of all those people would be here just eight years later having proven yourself to yourself what you really could do with more skills. It's just remarkable. So I would like to just tell you a couple of short stories and we'll draw maybe a couple of lessons from them as I came in. Mike Bloomberg was talking and he talked about immigrants and I echo his remarks.

But I would I would like to tell you of two women that each sold a business to Berkshire Hathaway to me actually for many many many millions of dollars. Most of them started with twenty five hundred dollars. By coincidence was the exact same amount it was everything they had in the world. And one of them was a woman who landed in Seattle in 1917 couldn't speak a word of English had a tag around her neck the tags said Fort Dodge Iowa the Red Cross got her into Fort Dodge where she was reunited with her husband who had come to the country a couple of years earlier. Had she lived in Fort Dodge for two years and as she put it she felt like a dummy. She couldn't pick up the language she couldn't learn a word and so she decided she and her husband decided to go home. So they came to Omaha in 1919. And there she found a small colony of Russian Jews so she started feeling more at home. And then as her oldest daughter went to school she would come home this daughter. Frances and she would teach her mother the words she had learned in school that day. And this woman Rosebraugh Emken spent 20 years saving money bringing first her siblings over her mother and father. Fifty dollars at a time.