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SBA Continues Emerging 200 Initiative in Des Moines

Release Date: 
Friday, February 27, 2009
Dave Lentell (515) 284-4522

Agency Seeks Interested Entrepreneurs to Participate in Class of 2009

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – The U.S. Small Business Administration will be continuing its successful Emerging 200 Initiative in Des Moines, the Agency announced today.

Last year, Des Moines was selected as one of eleven cities nationwide to participate in the SBA’s Emerging 200 Initiative (e200). The goal of e200 was to identify 200 inner-city businesses across the country that show a high potential for growth and to provide them the network, resources and motivation required to build a sustainable business within a designated inner-city geographic location.

Based on the success of the initiative in Des Moines in 2008, SBA will offer the program again beginning in April.

Along with Des Moines, other cities again offering e200 for 2009 include Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, and New Orleans. In addition, five new cities will be offering e200 for the first time. These include Detroit, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, and Portland, Ore.

Other agencies and organizations joining the SBA District Office in Des Moines to bring e200 back to Des Moines are:

  • The Business Innovation Zone

  • City of Des Moines Office of Economic Development

  • The Corporation for Economic Development in Des Moines

  • Des Moines Area Community College

  • The Greater Des Moines Partnership

  • The Iowa Department of Economic Development

  • The Iowa Small Business Development Centers

  • Iowans for Social and Economic Development

  • The Neighborhood Development Corporation

  • SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business)

  • The State Public Policy Group

  • United Way of Central Iowa

  • VentureNet Iowa

The cornerstone of the e200 initiative is an in-depth educational program running approximately 80-100 hours, to be held two half-days per month from April through November, 2009. It will focus on topics such as organization management, finance, growth strategies and management, market development, and strategic planning.

“We launched the Emerging 200 initiative to identify and support inner-city small businesses that have substantial potential for growth and provide them with high-level training, networking, and other resources necessary for success,” Joe Folsom, director of the SBA’s Des Moines District Office. “By helping them prepare for the challenges of today’s economy, SBA is tapping into the power of local entrepreneurs to transform their communities, generate new jobs, and make real and lasting changes. We’re pleased, along with our co-sponsors, to bring Emerging 200 and its MBA-style environment and program, back to Des Moines for 2009.”

Small business executives in the Emerging 200 initiative participate in an intensive and comprehensive program, draw from each other’s experiences and expertise, develop connections with local capital providers, and complete a growth plan by the end of the program.

“I cannot say enough about how valuable this class has been,” said Kelly Sargent, president of Brainstorm Marketing in Des Moines, Iowa, a graduate of the e200 Class of 2008. “This class has given me the knowledge, courage, and access to experts and 19 other CEOs who face the same challenges I do. I highly recommend e200 to any business owner regardless of the size of the company or longevity.”

Participation in e200 is free to qualifying businesses. Criteria for participation includes having been in business for a minimum of three years, $400,000 or more in gross annual revenues, and a business location within the geographic boundaries defined by the SBA. Participation will be limited to only 15 businesses in Des Moines and 200 businesses nationwide.

For more information on the program, contact the SBA in Des Moines at (515) 284-4522.

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