Qualified Small Business Owners Have Opportunity to Participate in Free Emerging Leaders Training

The Emerging Leaders training initiative is a free program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office and is an intensive entrepreneurship education series focusing on women-, minority-, immigrant-, and LGBT-owned small businesses. This program will consist of 100 hours of classroom time from April through October and graduates will leave the program with a three-year growth action plan and a network of peers and industry experts.

Apply online at sba.gov/EmergingLeaders by Tuesday, March 1. There is an informational webinar Feb. 19 to help answer any questions applicants may have about the program. Basic eligibility requirements to participate in the Emerging Leaders program include the following:

* Be a small business owner or C-level executive (example: CEO, COO)

* Have business annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million

* Have been in business for at least three years

* Have at least one employee, other than self

* Make the time commitment required of the course

* Demonstrate the business is on the brink of growth or transition

* Women-, minority-, immigrant-, and LGBT-owned small business owners encouraged to apply

“Small business owners often know where they want to take their business, but can find themselves struggling with how to get there,” said Calvin Goings, SBA Regional Administrator. “The Emerging Leaders initiative provides business owners with the tools and expert guidance to spark sustainable business growth.”

This program has been successful at putting entrepreneurs and small business owners on a track for growth and expansion. Graduates of the program have created nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs, secured more than $73 million in new financing, and were awarded federal, state, local and tribal contracts worth more than $1 billion. Due to this success, the program has expanded quickly throughout the country creating a vast network of alumni.

“Seattle’s dynamic and thriving small business community continues to create prosperity, grow jobs, and add to the rich diversity of the city,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We are a welcoming city that celebrates all communities. This educational opportunity will help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.”

For more information about the Emerging Leaders initiative, visit www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.