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SBA Launching FREE Entrepreneurship Program in Bakersfield

Seeking Applicants
Release Date: 
Friday, February 6, 2015
Release Number: 
15-09
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Contact: 
Dawn Golik

FRESNO - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched its 2015 Emerging Leaders executive-level training program in 48 cities and communities across the country. For the first time, with the support of local partners, SBA will be hosting this program in Bakersfield, one of 22 new cities offering the training this year.

 The Fresno SBA District Office is seeking 17 small businesses in Bakersfield to participate in Emerging Leaders.  The program begins in April and runs until November, and includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant.  The curriculum will be presented by Interise, a prominent non profit organization out of Boston, and is patterned after their successful “Streetwise MBA” initiative. Small business owners will work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with peers, city leaders and financial communities. The tuition for the program will be paid by the SBA, so there is no cost to business owners to participate.

 “SBA and our Bakersfield partners including the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Black Chamber, Mission Community Services Corporation’s Women’s Business Center, the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, and University of LaVerne are thrilled to be able to offer Emerging Leaders to Bakersfield business owners for the first time,” said Fresno SBA District Director Carlos Mendoza.  “Emerging Leaders has been a catalyst for expanding economic development in underserved communities across the country, giving graduates the skills to secure more than $1 billion in government contracting, and access $73 million in new financing.  We are looking for Bakersfield businesses who want to take advantage of this opportunity, and learn how to grow their companies,” said Mendoza.

Acceptance into the program is competitive and applications are currently being accepted. Small business owners or senior executives can apply online at http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders and their companies must meet strict eligibility criteria including:

  •   In business for at least 3 years
  •   Between $400,000 and $10 million in annual revenue
  •   At least one full time employee besides the owner
  •   Interested in business growth
  •   The business is in good financial shape and does not face tax, legal or other significant challenges

For more information about Emerging Leaders, please visit www.sba.gov/emergingleaders, contact the Fresno SBA District Office at (559) 487-5791, or speak with any of SBA’s local Bakersfield partners who are assisting with this program.