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Get the bottom line on top minority business executive programs for entrepreneurs

have a simulation game that reinforces the idea of customer and employee satisfaction through role play," Roberson-Saunders says. "We also talk about marketing strategies in the government sector and developing strategies in the private sector and globally."

The program’s design includes a group action agenda, whereby participants collaborate on a project or initiative during the week that they can continue to work on after the program. For example, some participants formed an alliance to tackle the formidable task of jointly competing for a $400 million contract.

For more information: Pat Roberson-Saunders, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, Howard University School of Business, 2600 Sixth St. NW, Washington, DC 20059; 202-806-1500;

Loyola Center for Closely Held Firms
The Sellinger School
Loyola College in Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) and Advanced Minority Business Executive Program (AMBEP)
Who should attend: owners of 8(a) firms that are at least three years old, have three or more employees and have annual revenues of $300,000+.
Class size: MBEP, 32; AMBEP, 24
Fee: None. All attendees are owners of 8(a) sponsored firms.
Year started: 1996
Dates: MBEP, August; AMBEP, August

Loyola College’s general program for 8(a) firms stresses the fundamentals of general management — strategy, leadership, change, marketing, finance and operations. The advanced program covers more specific topics, such as innovation, advisory boards, tax planning, new product development and leadership.

Participants work in teams to actually operate a business and compete against each other in classroom exercises. They develop strategies for expansion, competitive pricing and financing, says Harsha Desai, professor of management and director of the Loyola Center for Closely Held Firms. A panel of lawyers, marketers, business owners and product development experts also lends its perspective.

"This exercise gives them a very good flavor of what happens in business from all aspects," Desai says. "Minority firms must be innovative, and not just with their products. We also feel they should know [their strengths and weaknesses and those of their competitors] to compete globally."

Donna Allie attended Loyola’s general and advanced programs in June 1996 and June 1998. "When I came back from the program, I was on fire and I had a lot of ideas burning," says Allie. I learned that I needed to empower my employees with leadership and decision-making skills so they would trust me more as their team leader. I also learned how important it is to get a handle on finances — it drives everything you do."

For more information: Harsha Desai, Director, Loyola Center for Closely Held Firms, the Sellinger School, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210; 410-617-2395;

J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Advanced Management Education Program
Who should attend: CEOs of minority-owned firms with at least three years’ experience and annual revenue of $3 million+ (if in manufacturing or distribution) or $1 million+ (if a service firm) and who are

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