SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative Expands to Help Entrepreneurs Grow and Succeed


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Created on February 4, 2016

Seven-month intensive, executive entrepreneurship education series now available in 51 Cities and Communities Across the United States


The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders executive-level training series is launching in 51 cities and communities across the country this year.

The Emerging Leaders training focuses on small, poised-for-growth companies with potential for job creation.  The seven-month intensive, executive 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.

“The SBA’s expansion of Emerging Leaders last year to over 20 new locations made this invaluable training accessible to more entrepreneurs than ever before,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “The training, mentorship and resources that these small business owners receive help them take their enterprises to the next level, spurring business growth, job creation and stronger communities.”

“The initiative has trained more than 3,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities since its inception in 2008, and its impact continues to expand, Contreras-Sweet continued.”

There are three new locations joining the initiative for the first time – Sacramento, Calif., Montpelier, Vt., and Concord, N.H.  The expansion means the successful training initiative will now be available to entrepreneurs in a total of 51 cities across the United States.

The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities.  Graduates have reported that nearly 70 percent achieved revenue growth and over 80 percent created new jobs or retained all existing jobs.  Graduates have secured federal, state, local and tribal contract awards over $700 million.

Local recruitment for the 2016 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 eligibility criteria can be found at

The hosting locations for the 2016 Emerging Leaders initiative classes are as follows:

Albuquerque, N.M.                             Miami, Fla.

Atlanta, Ga.                                        Milwaukee, Wis.

Austin/San Antonio, Texas                 Minneapolis, Minn.

Bakersfield, Calif.                               Nashville, Tenn.

Baltimore, Md.                                    Concord, N.H.*

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                                     Sacramento, Calif.*

Fargo, N.D.                                         Salt Lake City, Utah

Honolulu, Hawaii                                San Juan, Puerto Rico

Houston, Texas                                   Seattle, Wash.

Indianapolis, Ind.                                Spokane, Wash.

Jackson, Miss.                                     St. Louis, Mo.

Las Vegas, Nev.                                  Syracuse, N.Y.

Little Rock, Ark.                                 Tampa, Fla.

Los Angeles, Calif.                             Montpelier, Vt.*

Louisville, Ky.                                    Washington, D.C.

Memphis, Tenn.                                  Wichita, Kan.

Youngstown, Ohio

*New locations for 2016.

For more information about Emerging Leaders, or to contact the respective local SBA District Office in that area, please visit

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Last updated: 04/19/2017 - 4:11pm