Are You Ready to Take Your Business to the Next Level?

Wichita Emerging Leaders program to start in April 2017!
Release Date: 
Friday, January 6, 2017
Release Number: 
Michael Aumack (316) 269-6275

The SBA's Wichita District Office is seeking a diverse group of 15 to 20 business owners or chief executives to apply for the 2017 Emerging Leaders  program that is scheduled to start in early April 2017.

The Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive training course that specifically focuses on the professional development of executives of '2nd stage' businesses poised for growth in Kansas.  Executives from varied industries, such as: retail, professional services, manufacturing, technology, etc., including family-owned businesses going through a leadership transition, are encourage to apply. The program is not appropriate for 'start-up' businesses.  See applicant qualifications below.

About Emerging Leaders Initiative:

Emerging Leaders curriculum was developed, in part, by Interise and Boston University Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization. The program is designed for the participant to emerge a self-sustaining business with a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets that creates jobs and builds communities. The program is interactive, pertinent and applicable, so participants have the opportunity to use their own business as a live case study. For this reason, it is not a program for new businesses.

The initiative helps entrepreneurs focus on taking a step back from the day-to-day work and think big picture. The Emerging Leaders Initiative program is considered a global leader in entrepreneurial and business development by The World Bank. It is a rigorous executive-level curriculum tailored to the needs of small business owners.

Participants develop and graduate with a 3-year growth action plan that has been vetted by peers and business experts and is based on their individual business’ situation and goals. In addition, the participants will have access to a network of peers and business leaders who can continue to provide support and accountability as the growth plan is implemented.

Participants will be a part of a tight-knit group that builds trust and relationships over time. They will help each other think outside the box, and develop creative solutions with tangible action steps. The initiative is interactive, fun, and hands-on.

While the seven-month Emerging Leaders program is offered at no cost, the curriculum requires over 100 hours of classroom, reading, and project time per participant.

Over the course of 26 weeks (from April through October 2017), participants will attend 13 three-hour classes held every other week. Classes are tentatively scheduled to take place on Wednesday afternoons (every other week). Class time and date information will be finalized and published in February 2017.

Background and Statistical Success:

Since 2008, this SBA initiative has trained more than 2,000 promising small business owners, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs. Wichita was selected to host the initiative for the first time in 2014.

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. Surveyed participants also reported having secured more than $26 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, nearly half of the initiative graduates reported securing federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $330 million.

Participant Qualifications:

  • Be an established business (in existence for at least 3 years)
  • Annual revenues between a minimum of $300,000 and a maximum of $10 million
  • 3 employees or more, recommended
  • Time commitment of the business owner (or executive "decision-maker") to dedicate themselves to attend every class, and complete course assignments. In total, it is a 100+ hour commitment. Only one representative of a business can participate in the program.

Interested and qualified small business owners are encouraged to apply at:

For more information about the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program, please contact Michael Aumack at (316) 269-6275.

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