SBA Looks to Inner City Firms to Participate in its 2016 Emerging Leaders Class in Newark

The U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey District Office is ramping up its third Emerging Leaders class, an intensive executive-level entrepreneurship training program for small business owners located in Newark and other inner cities across the state. 

According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, the seven month executive intensive entrepreneurship education series starts in April and will be held in Newark. The program has no out of pocket expense for participants, but has a significant time requirement that calls for approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant.  In addition to the training, small business owners will be given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.

“The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives who have annual revenues of at least $400,000; have been in business for at least 3 years; and have at least one employee, other than self,” said Titone. “Between now and  March 4  we are looking for the 20 best and most qualified small business owners who meet this criteria and are committed to taking their businesses to the next level.”

While the program is aimed at businesses in Newark, Titone noted that his office would welcome potential candidates from Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Camden, Dover, East Orange, Elizabeth, Englewood, Hackensack, Hillside, Irvington, Jersey City, Morristown, New Brunswick, Neptune, Passaic, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Trenton and Willingboro.

According to SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet, who oversees the agency’s programs and services for all of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the SBA Emerging Leaders executive-level training series is now available in 51 cities and communities across the country. Entering its ninth consecutive year, the initiative has trained more than 3,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact of helping small businesses grow and create jobs. 

“The results are in and the Emerging Leaders initiative has shown that it has a proven track record of helping small businesses in underserved communities,” said LeDet. “Nationwide, 68 percent of the 2014 graduates of this program have increased their revenue.  Members of the same class have seen an average value of $1.9 million in secured government contracts and have received an average size loan of $128,000 by participating in this class.”

“The bottom line is that this program is helping inner city companies to increase their revenues, create more jobs and help drive local economic growth in their communities,” added LeDet. “When 95 percent of the alumni tell us they would recommend the Emerging Leaders program to fellow business owners, you know that the right blueprint is in place to help these small companies to achieve their next level of growth.”

Joining the SBA as co-sponsors of the 2016 Emerging Leaders initiative in Newark are the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC), M&T Bank, New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ (SHCCNJ) and UCEDC.

“Over time, the Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities,” added Titone. “We are excited about recruiting and interviewing candidates for our third class here in Newark.   Our primary goal is to get inner city small business owners, who are poised for next-stage growth, and provide them with the necessary support, resources and skills to help them to achieve long-term success.”

Local recruitment for the 2016 training cycle is underway for the Newark initiative and classes are scheduled to begin in April. Information on eligibility requirements and how small business owners can apply to participate in the program can be found at www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.  The online application to be considered for the 2016 Emerging Leaders initiative in Newark can be found at http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders.

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