SBA Emerging Leaders Class Builds Success for Native American Business

Release Date: 
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Friday, March 8, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Larry Weatherford, 405/609-8012

Developing a plan for growth and creating the professional networks that lead to business success are two of the outcomes created by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders class according to graduates of the training program.

James Ryals, President of Arnold Electric, credits the Tulsa Emerging Leaders program with helping develop his business by encouraging him to focus on things his company was doing but maybe wasn’t tracking or lacked procedures for.  It also provided important contacts with the Corps of Engineers that later resulted in Arnold Electric bidding on and securing an important contract at Tinker AFB.

“It showed us how we were progressing rather than waiting until the end of the year to see if we made money,” Ryals said.  “It focused more on running my business than simply working.  It gave us the networking contacts and confidence to grow our business.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently launched its 2013 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative, formerly known as e200, in 27 cities and communities across the country.  Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 1,300 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs.

Mark Masters, President of Chloeta Fire, LLC., points to the Oklahoma City Emerging Leaders program as a turning point in his efforts to turn a good idea into a good business.

“I knew a lot about wild land firefighting but I was not a business person by any means,” Masters said. “I look at the e200 program as the launching point for us.  If it had not been for the e200 program then I’m certain we would not have achieved the level of success that we have had.”

Masters was named U.S. Small Business Administration National Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.

“Oklahoma is fortunate to have two locations offering the Emerging Leaders Program,” said Dottie Overal, Oklahoma SBA District Director.  “This is a great opportunity for our Native American small businesses to create a plan for growth that will propel them to the next level of success.”

The seven-month executive leader curriculum includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time 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. Local recruitment for the 2013 training cycle started February 1 through SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April. Classes focusing on Native American Small Businesses will be held in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Small business owner interested in joining the 2013 class should contact Cindi Carter at the SBA, 405/609-8018.