Today the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the return of it’s very popular Emerging Leaders (formerly e200) executive-level intensive entrepreneurship training initiative.
Entering its seventh consecutive year, the initiative has trained more than 2,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs.
In 2013, the initiative graduated nearly 400 small business owners, representing the largest graduating class since it began in 2008. This year our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has been added along with Miami, Wichita, and Newark.
Surveyed Emerging Leader graduates have created nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs have been created since the program’s inception. These graduates also reported having secured more than $73 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when competing for government contracts.
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.
“Emerging Leaders has a proven track record of helping small businesses in underserved communities,” said 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.”
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 underway at selected SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April. Information on how interested small business owners can apply and on the eligibility criteria can be found at www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.