WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2013) — The U.S. Small Business Administration launched its 2013 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative, formerly known as e200, in 27 cities and communities across the country.
Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 1,300 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs. The city of Los Angeles is joining the initiative for the first time and Oklahoma City, Portland and Seattle are returning.
“Emerging Leaders has a proven track record of helping small businesses in underserved communities,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. The addition of four major cities this year builds on this success and provides even more entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the support, resources and skills to succeed.”
The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for both urban small business owners and Native American communities. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 75 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.
Surveyed participants also reported having secured more than $26 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, nearly half of the initiative graduates reported securing federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $330 million.
In 2012 the initiative graduated more than 350 small business owners, representing the largest graduating class since it began in 2008. This year SBA will launch an Emerging Leaders alumni network to continue the business-to-business connection and continuous learning.
The seven-month executive leader curriculum 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 2013 training cycle started February 1 through SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April.
The cities hosting Emerging Leaders initiative classes in 2013 include Minneapolis as an Urban Market, and Honolulu as a Native American community.