How the Emerging Leaders Initiative Can Help Take Your Small Business to the Next Level

If you are looking to expand and grow your small business in 2015, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative may be for you.
The SBA is once again looking for small businesses to participate in our successful Emerging Leaders executive-level training program that provides the tools to help small companies sustain and grow. The Emerging Leaders initiative, now in its eighth consecutive year, is an intensive training program for small businesses that have the potential for quick growth and job creation.
Emerging Leaders provides participating businesses with not only a resource network but also an organizational framework that helps to form sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban and rural communities.
The success of the training program is well documented by the hundreds of small business owners around the country whose businesses have greatly benefited from Emerging Leaders. Graduates of the initiative have significantly increased their revenue, helped create jobs and drive economic growth in their local communities.
Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 2,400 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues its impact in helping small business owners grow and create jobs. More than 400 businesses graduated in the 2014 class.
Local recruitment for the 2015 training cycle is now underway at selected SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April.
Because of the success of Emerging Leaders, the training will be offered in an additional 21 cities throughout the country this year, including Birmingham, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, Puerto Rico and Providence.

Hosting locations for 2015 include:
Albuquerque, N.M.
Memphis, Tenn.
Atlanta, Ga.
Miami, Fla.
Austin, Texas*
Milwaukee, Wis.
Bakersfield, Calif.*
Minneapolis, Minn.
Baltimore, Md.
Nashville, Tenn.*
Birmingham, Ala.*
Newark, N.J.
Boise, Idaho*
New Orleans, La.
Boston, Mass.
New York, N.Y.*
Charlotte, N.C.*
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Chicago, Ill.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Columbus, Ohio*
Phoenix, Ariz.
Dallas, Texas
Pittsburgh, Pa.*
Denver, Colo.
Portland, Ore.
Detroit, Mich.
Providence, R.I.*
El Paso, Texas*
Salt Lake City, Utah*
Fargo, N.D.*
San Juan, Puerto Rico*
Honolulu, Hawaii
Seattle, Wash.
Houston, Texas*
Sioux Falls, S.D.*
Indianapolis, Ind.*
St Louis, Mo.
Jackson, Miss.*
Syracuse, N.Y.
Las Vegas, Nev.*
Tampa, Fla.*
Little Rock, Ark.*
Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Wichita, Kan.
Louisville, Ky.*
Youngstown, Ohio
*new locations for 2015

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.
If you are an interested small business owner and want to apply to the 2015 training cycle, be sure to first look at the full eligibility requirements for participants.
Eligible small businesses must be represented by a CEO, COO or CFO, have three years of business operation, have at least one employee besides the business owner, and generate between $400,000 and $10 million in gross annual revenues.