SBA seeks applicants for Emerging Leaders program

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking applicants for the 2019 Emerging Leaders program that provides executive-level instruction to small-business owners free of charge.

The program includes about 100 hours of training with experienced professionals and gives small-business owners the opportunity to develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities, the SBA said.

The class meets every two weeks from April through October. Participants qualify if their small business has been established for three years or more, has at least one employee and has at least $250,000 in annual revenue.

“The basis of the Emerging Leaders initiative is to instill within them the knowledge they need to take the next step forward in their small-business cycle,” SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward said in a statement. “This will be our fifth year of hosting the program here in Rhode Island and seeing how our past graduates have been able to elevate their businesses to new heights is the true measuring stick of the program’s success.”

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Richard Grundy, president and chief operating officer of Avtech Software, graduated from the program in 2016.

“The Emerging Leaders program provides benefits far beyond the business topics discussed,” Grundy said. “For Avtech, it provided the structure for ongoing strategic planning that has helped us grow revenues by 40 percent since completing the program. Additionally, it connected us with the government and banking resources necessary to support our business growth.”

To apply for the program, go to or contact Joan Moran, SBA deputy district director, at (401) 528-4580.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at