Ceremony recognizes inner-city small business owners at City Hall
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho honored entrepreneurs completing its Emerging Leaders Program at a graduation ceremony yesterday at Philadelphia City Hall.
“You are the brightest rising stars in your communities. As Emerging Leaders graduates, you have gained the know-how and built the tools to help the businesses you’ve started grow and succeed. I believe that you will go far,” Olson-Urtecho said.
SBA identified inner-city businesses across the nation demonstrating high growth potential and provided these small businesses with a free, intensive business education program: a six-month course of in-depth education in organization management, growth strategies and management, market development and strategic planning.
Olson-Urtecho stressed the importance of small businesses as the engine of the economy.
“Half of all Americans own or work for small businesses like yours. Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy, and here in Philadelphia we are counting on you to grow the economy and create jobs in your neighborhood,” Olson-Urtecho said. “As leaders in your community, I know that you will continue to roll up your sleeves and do all that you can hire more workers and create more jobs as well as mentor young people to create the next generation of Philadelphia’s innovative entrepreneurs.”
Since 2008, Emerging Leaders have been a catalyst for job creation and business growth in 27 cities across America. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 75 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities. The program’s curriculum includes approximately 100 hours 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. Even during a tough economy, graduated entrepreneurs have created hundreds of new jobs and secured millions of dollars in financing and government contracts.
“Even though you are graduating today, this is the beginning of a lasting partnership. No matter what you go on to do with your business, the SBA will be there,” Olson-Urtecho said. “The SBA can support you as you seize new opportunities and face new challenges. When you need capital to expand your business, we can help you get a loan. If you want to get into government contracting, we can find you contracts to bid on, if you want to keep learning and growing, we can find you a counselor or a mentor.”
Philadelphia-area businesses honored at the Emerging Leaders graduation ceremony:
• Alexander Perry, Inc.
• Appligent Inc.
• Cognis IT Advisors, LLC
• Brio Solutions
• Dennis M. Jackson Insurance Agency, Inc.
• Derisory Designs
• Divine Insurance Group, LLC
• Ervina White Beauford Funeral Service
• Gibson Music & Arts
• Hua Da Construction
• Rising Sun Medical Center, Inc.
• Storevision North America, Inc.
• The Westwood School