SBA Emerging Leaders Program Teaches Indiana Entrepreneurs How to Work ON Their Business

Release Date: 
Monday, June 26, 2017
Advisory Date: 
Monday, June 26, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA--For the last three months, retired PepsiCo executive and SCORE volunteer Tim Martin has been bringing his unique big business prospective to a group of 17 successful Indiana entrepreneurs who want to, as he puts it, learn how to "work ON their business and not just IN it."

Martin teaches the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders program at the Indiana District Office in Indianapolis.  Emerging Leaders is a free training program which teaches small business owners powerful tools such as innovative growth strategies, financing know-how, access to new markets and networking with peers.  This is the third year that the SBA Indiana District Office has offered Emerging Leaders, and District Director Stacey Poynter says this intense “mini-MBA” style training is a great way for entrepreneurs to take the next step forward with their company.

“The goal of Emerging Leaders is to provide established small business owners with the knowledge and resources they need to build a sustainable business,” Poynter says.  “Classes teach students how to think strategically, about where they want to move forward, and how they want to expand their business outside of their comfort zone.”

Chris Walls, Co-Owner of 39 Degrees North, says this ON instead of IN concept was like a light bulb turning on in the dark.  For years, his Bloomington based Geographic Information System tech company had grown, but not at the pace he wanted it to.   Walls says it was because he hadn’t been asking the questions he really needed in order to surge forward.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned during Emerging Leaders is that you have to work at growing your business. I wasn’t doing that,” says Walls.

Martin says that another key factor to working ON a business is networking.  Martin feels opportunities for networking between Emerging Leaders classmates is crucial for growth.

Student Soraya Van Horn agrees.  Van Horn runs several companies under Van Horn Ventures, LLC as well as a Hive Staffing franchise in Indianapolis.

“It’s the people and the networking that I find valuable in Emerging Leaders,” Van Horn says.  “Networking is the underground that makes things happen for your business."

Classmate Deb Dedrick, owner of Bluffton's Dedrick Tool & Dye credits Emerging Leaders with changing how she runs and views her business.

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but being in Emerging Leaders has re-ignited my passion for manufacturing and owning my own business,” Dedrick says.  It’s great to have this new network of entrepreneurs, be able to hear their problems, their solutions, and be able to bounce ideas off of each other to make all of our companies more successful.”

The 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders graduates in October.   For more information about SBA programs and events throughout Indiana, sign up for email updates on the SBA Indiana District website at .

For media queries, please contact Laura Schafsnitz, Indiana District Office Public Affairs Specialist at .



All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance.