Bloomberg on small business success: Get the right people

Michael Bloomberg
Jamie McCarthy | Conde Nast Traveler | Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor and business magnate Michael Bloomberg said that hiring the right people makes all the difference in small business.

"When starting a small business, you're not likely to hire from Harvard, Yale or Princeton. But I'm not sure that's where you want to go anyways," Bloomberg said at Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses panel event at LaGuardia Community College on Tuesday afternoon.

The panel discussion was led by journalist Savannah Guthrie and included Warren Buffett, Lloyd Blankfein and Jack Dorsey.

Bloomberg said that "sweat capital" is something he looks for, and something other businesses should look for too.

"I've always said I would like to hire the person whose father never was there, whose mother was in a drug treatment program, and he had to work three shifts at McDonald's to go take care of his siblings," he said.

"That's the kind of person you want — somebody that just, no matter how bad things are, looks on the bright side, takes the bull by the horns, puts in the sweat capital," Bloomberg added.

The event marked the 20th graduation of the Goldman Sachs education program, which helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

"You have to get the right people," he said.