Entrepreneur Training Initiative Sparks Small Business Growth, Job Creation
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration kicked off its 2012 e200/Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative in 27 cities and communities. Since 2008 the e200/Emerging Leaders initiative has helped nearly 1,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities across the country sustain and grow their businesses, providing training they use to succeed and create jobs.
"Over the last few years Emerging Leaders has helped expand opportunities for many promising small businesses in underserved communities – in particular those that have been most impacted by these tough economic times," SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. "Graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. Continuing with this year's lineup of new classes builds on this success and provides even more entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the support, resources and skills to succeed."
Despite the difficult economy, more than half of the businesses that have completed the e200/Emerging Leaders training have shown an increase in revenue totaling more than $7 million. Nearly 60 percent have reported creating new jobs in their communities. Surveyed participants also reported having secured more than $7 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, program graduates have reported securing nearly 500 federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $112 million.
The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for both urban small business owners and Native American communities. In 2011, there were 17 urban host cities and 10 Native American host cities. Combined, the program graduated 340 small business owners, representing the largest graduating class since the e200 initiative began in 2008.
The eight-month training 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 2012 training cycle will start in February through SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April.
The cities hosting e200/Emerging Leaders initiative classes in 2012 include:
Des Moines, Iowa
New Orleans, La.
St. Louis, Mo.
Native American Communities
Rapid City, S.D.
Santa Ana, Calif.
For more information about e200 Emerging Leaders, or to contact the respective local SBA District office in that area go to www.sba.gov/e200.