As leaders, we often encourage our employees to continue their education, learn new skills and streamline processes to improve efficiencies. We’re often so busy managing and leading that we do not take time out to practice what we preach. Just as our employees need help in strengthening their skills and developing new ones, so do we. Well, there is no time like the present to get the refresher or additional training that we need. And the Small Business Administration has just the program for us: The Emerging Leaders Initiative.

According to their February 26, 2019 press release, SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative to help growing entrepreneurs is now open for 2019 recruitment. The following are details on the program from the SBA website:

What is it?

Emerging Leaders Initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community. Recruitment for the Emerging Leaders Initiative occurs on an annual basis, beginning in February and classes typically begin in April.

The Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities.  Developed by SBA and drawing on the experiences of advisors and business leaders in urban communities across the country, this comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to catapult your company to the next level and help it emerge as a force in your community.

Training Overview

Over the course of seven months, participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts. Specialized areas of training include Growth Strategies Plans, Financing and Access to Capital, Government Contracting, and CEO Mentoring.

Qualifications to Participate

This training is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives that:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $250,000
  • Have been in business for at least 3 years
  • Have at least one employee, other than self

Cost of the Program

This initiative is FREE! The only cost is your time and commitment to complete the curriculum over the course of seven months. All other costs are covered by SBA and their local partners.

Benefits of Participation

The program prepares and encourages small businesses to move to the next level on their growth trajectory and to help them emerge as self-sustaining businesses that create jobs and build communities.  At the conclusion of the training, entrepreneurs produce a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets that will help them access the necessary support and resources to move forward.

If you meet the requirements, this program sounds like a great opportunity to catapult yourself and your organization to new heights. For more information or to apply, visit SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative.