SBA Offers Affordable Executive-Level Training

February 1, 2012, 2:32 PM HST · Updated February 1, 3:20 PM
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2011 e200/Emergining Leaders program graduates. Courtesy of SBA.

By Sonia Isotov

Yesterday, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) kicked off its 2012 e200/Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative in 27 cities and communities, including Honolulu.

Small business executives from around the state are invited to participate in this free executive training program being organized by the Hawaii District SBA Office.

“The e200/Emerging Leaders Initiative is a remarkable program. We had an outstanding group of entrepreneurs for our first year last year and everyone was ‘wowed’ with the growth the business owners and their companies experienced,” said SBA Hawaii District Director Jane Sawyer.

Jane Sawyer, SBA Hawaii District Director. Courtesy of SBA Hawaii.

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“We are so pleased to be able to offer it again in 2012.  It’s a demanding course, but I think any one of our participating entrepreneurs would recommend it for entrepreneurs ready to step it up. We had one participant come in from Hilo every other week to be in this executive-level course.”

Since 2008 the e200/Emerging Leaders initiative has helped nearly 1,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities across the country.

“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,” said Karen Mills, US SBA administrator, in a written statement.

“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% 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 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 has already started and application are due at the Hawaii SBA District Office on March 1. Applications are available by calling the Hawaii SBA District Office at (808) 541-2990.

Classes are held at the District Office in Honolulu starting in late April on Wednesday evenings, every other week. Actual time is determined by the class but would require about a 3-hour time block. There is a mentoring group meeting on alternate weeks.

Selected chief executive officers are asked to commit to attending all classes, complete all assignments, and actively participate in all discussions and presentations to get the most value from the class.

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