The SBA's Emerging Leaders initiative is an intensive training program for small companies that have the potential for quick growth and job creation.
This seven-month executive educational series includes classroom time and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.
Local recruitment for the 2014 training cycle is now underway at selected SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April 2014.
The number of participating cities has grown to 27 and includes Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Fresno, Calif.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Newark, N.J.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; St. Louis, Mo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Wichita, Kan.; and Youngstown, Ohio.
This year our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has been added along with Miami, Wichita, and Newark.
If you are an interested small business owner and want to apply to the 2014 training cycle, be sure to first look at the participant eligibility requirements.
Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 2,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues its impact to help small business owners grow and create jobs. Nearly 400 businesses graduated in 2013 – the largest graduating class since Emerging Leaders began.
One such graduate is Eric Franklin, president and CEO of EriMax Inc., an information technology and acquisition management company in Maryland that handles large-scale contracts for the federal government. This 2012 Emerging Leaders graduate now employs 74, up from 35 in 2009. The business has focused on expanding into new areas through partnering and subcontracting. In previous years, its focus was procuring prime contracts. Franklin is also a graduate of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Programthat helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.
After participants in the Emerging Leaders training graduate, companies have reported they were awarded federal, state, local and tribal contracts, worth more than $1 billion. Sixty-two percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 72 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.
More information on Emerging Leaderstraining is available online. You can also contact your local SBA District Officein the participating cities to learn more.