WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched its 2014 Emerging Leaders (formerly e200) executive-level intensive entrepreneurship training initiative for small-business owners in 27 cities across the country, SBA reports.
In its seventh consecutive year, the program has trained more than 2,000 small-business owners in underserved communities, SBA says, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs. Participating cities added to the initiative this year include Washington, D.C.; Miami; Wichita, Kan.; and Newark, N.J.
“Emerging Leaders has a proven track record of helping small businesses in underserved communities,” says SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit. “Graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. Adding new locations this year builds on this success and provides even more entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the support, resources and skills to succeed.”
Surveyed graduates have created nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs, and have reported securing more than $73 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when competing for government contracts, according to the SBA. Last year the initiative graduated nearly 400 small-business owners, the largest graduating class since it began in 2008.
“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,” the SBA says. “Sixty-two percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 72% of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.”
The seven-month executive intensive entrepreneurship education series includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small-business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.
Local recruitment for the 2014 training cycle is under way at selected SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April.
Elegibility requirements and more information can be found at www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.