SBA calls for Emerging Leaders program applicants in R.I.

Updated at 4:08 p.m.

THE SBA is accepting applications in Rhode Island for its Emerging Leaders program.
THE SBA is currently accepting applications in Rhode Island for its Emerging Leaders program.

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District office is calling for applicants for its Emerging Leaders program, which provides business leaders with training and networking at no cost.

Applicants must have a business with annual revenue of at least $250,000, have been in business for three years and have at least one employee other than the participant. Participants must also be C-suite level employees, owners, presidents or founders.

The program will require a commitment to a total of 100 hours of programming, including 40 hours of classroom training, seven CEO mentoring meetings and course work assignments.

Classes will begin in April and end in October.

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The SBA said that the program, which was started in 2008, is designed to, “accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities.” The program provides strategies to participants on how to access new capital, access government resources and networks participants with local business leaders.

This year, the program is being offered in 60 cities in the United States, including Providence.

An SBA Rhode Island District spokesman said that there have been 33 Rhode Island graduates from the program since its launch in Providence in 2015. Class sizes vary but are capped out at roughly 20 participants.

“The Emerging Leaders program has proven time and again to be an extremely effective method for local small businesses to develop and grow their companies,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward in a statement. “The participants are introduced to key business concepts through educational modules that familiarize them with topics such as business and strategy assessments, financials, marketing and sales, resources- people, accessing capital and government contracting, and strategic growth plans. This will be our fifth year hosting the program, and I am excited to see what new heights this group of graduates can reach.”

At the end of the program, participants will have created a three-year strategic growth-action plan that includes benchmarks and performance targets.

Interested parties may find the Emerging Leaders program application online.