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SBA Graduates 25 Companies from its "Street Wise MBA" Course

two cohorts - one in Manhattan, one in Yonkers - complete an eight-month entrepreneurship training program
Release Date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Release Number: 


New York – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), New York District Office, graduated twenty-five companies from its Emerging Leaders program in midtown Manhattan, completing the training course offered to small businesses with revenues between $400,000 and $10 million per year.

New York SBA District Director, Beth Goldberg, said that the Emerging Leaders Program, for which 178 businesses applied, culminated in each business completing a three-year growth plan for the future of their companies. 

“I’m always amazed,” Goldberg said, “At how many of the business owners say that the most valuable aspect of the program was the connections they made with other CEOs and the opportunity to speak honestly about the challenges they face running their companies. Being a small business owner can be lonely; it’s hard making all of the decisions in a company—the Emerging Leaders Program gives these entrepreneurs a community to belong to and a sounding board to bounce ideas off of.”

Since beginning in 2008, nationwide, SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program has trained over 5,000 small business owners, created over 6,500 jobs, generated over $300 million in new financing and secured over $3 billion in government contracts.

In the New York District, which contains New York City, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley, 95 small businesses have graduated the program since the first class in 2015. These businesses represent a variety of industries from restauranteurs to real estate brokerages to manufacturers of fine linens.

In addition to forming new relationships with other small business owners, Emerging Leaders graduates are also connected to new opportunities to grow and strengthen their businesses. Nike Akindahunsi, of FMKgroup LLC Government Services, landed several federal government contracts while in the class including two with SBA and others with the Departments of Air Force, Army, Navy and Transportation. Wendy Peters, co-founder and President of J.W.P CORP, won her first prime construction contract with the MTA. Barron Hanson, Co-Founder of Convicts NYC, produced a video for Audi’s E-TRON electric car and grew his company’s account with Nike to include the Jordan Brand while completing the Emerging Leaders Program.

Angela Briante, of the Briante Real Estate group in Carmel, NY, said that her business is booming since starting Emerging Leaders and implementing some of the skills she’s learned in the course.

“I’m a person that has her MBA already, but that was a while ago so this has been a great refresher,” Briante said. “Everything we’ve done is so applicable. I’ve really learned a lot and am energized to apply all that I have laid out in my growth plan,” Briante said.  


The following is a list of all the Emerging Leaders Graduates and the names of their businesses.



Judith Bachman, The Bachman Law Firm

Nike Akindahunsi, FMKgroup Govt Services

Angela Briante, Briante Realty Group, LLC

Larisa Aronov, Lotus Café & Bagels Corp

Mark Crawford, The Crawford Law Firm, PC

Nicholas Auletta, TruView BSI, LLC

Adele Falco, Curious-on-Hudson

Ariel Barbouth, Nuchas LLC

Ilan Feder, DIF NY Construction, LLC

Barron Hanson, Convicts NYC

Vivian Liping Lobato, NY Golden Eagle Sr. Corp.

Sachin Garg, Innovee Consulting LLC

Carolina Reyes, RCS Cleaning Services

Nellie Gregorian, Fluent, LLC

Gianluigi Romangnolo, Bellino Fine Linens

Gautam Gurijjala, Invent E Solutions, Inc.

Abraham Taub, Guardian Booth

Susan Juan Jia, Phoenix Travel Inc



Toshiyuki Koizumi, Wasan Brooklyn



Cemil Koseoglu, ESNY Construction Services, Inc



Cordelia Li, Too Sweet to Quit, LLC



Wendy Peters, J.W.P CORP



Tomoko Omori, Go Go Curry America Group



Maria Lucia Santiago, ROYCE’ Confect USA



Alejandro Toro, AKL Active, Inc

To learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program or to express interest in next year’s class, visit




About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit