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SBA Regional Administrator honors Philadelphia’s “SBA Emerging Leaders” graduates

Ceremony recognizes inner-city small business owners
Release Date: 
Friday, October 23, 2015
Release Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho honors entrepreneurs completing its Emerging Leaders Program at a graduation ceremony Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Liberty View Ballroom of the Independence Visitors Center in Philadelphia. Media are invited to attend.

“Emerging Leaders graduates are the brightest rising stars in our communities. They have gained the know-how and built the tools to help the businesses they’ve started grow and succeed,” Olson-Urtecho said.

SBA identifies inner-city businesses across the nation demonstrating high growth potential and provides free, intensive business education in the form of an in-depth six-month course in organization management, growth strategies and management, market development and strategic planning.

The Emerging Leaders Program is a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities.  Graduates have secured more than $1 billion in government contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing.  They’ve also reported creating nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs since the program’s inception.  Sixty-two percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 70 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.  The initiative graduated nearly 400 small business owners in 2014, representing the largest graduating class since it began in 2008.

The program’s curriculum includes approximately 100 hours per participant and provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities. Even during a tough economy, program graduates have created hundreds of new jobs and secured millions of dollars in financing and government contracts.

“Half of all Americans own or work for small businesses like those in the Emerging Leaders program. Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy, and here in Philadelphia we also count on small businesses to create jobs in our neighborhoods,” Olson-Urtecho said. “As leaders in their communities, I know they will continue to roll up their sleeves and do all that they can to create more jobs and mentor young people as the next generation of Philadelphia’s innovative entrepreneurs.”

Philadelphia-area businesses being honored at the Emerging Leaders graduation ceremony:

  • Au Naturale, Inc.
  • Avant Gardens, Inc.
  • Blasco Contractors, Inc.
  • Down Dog Healing Café
  • East Hill Video Production Company, LLC
  • Delaware Hispano Magazine
  • Kettle Creek Corporation
  • Main Line Waterproofing, LLC
  • Mathnasium of Andorra
  • Maytav Bus Company
  • Memorable Moments Learning Center, Inc.
  • MFR Consultants, Inc.
  • Network Design Technologies, Inc.
  • Smith Flooring, Inc.


NOTE: Separate interviews and photo opportunities with key participants will be available following the program’s conclusion.