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Emerging Leaders Kick-Off is a Great Start

What a start! This Spring WMADO launched SBA's inaugural Emerging Leaders initiative in Washington, DC. Emerging Leaders is an executive-level training program offered to firms with the capacity to take their businesses to the next level through a combination of intensive classroom instruction, peer-to-peer interaction and networking.

While this is the first year for WMADO, the Emerging Leaders training program has seen great success in other cities. Since inception, 2,000 businesses have completed the intensive seven-month program. These firms reported an average of 40 percent revenue growth. Nearly half of them secured federal, state and local contracts worth a cumulative total of $330 million. Also, since completing their Strategic Growth Action Plans, these businesses have accessed more than $26 million in new financing.

Our kickoff was held at the United States Capitol Visitor Center and featured a series of guest speakers, each offering encouragement and guidance to the new class. Hearing the inspirational words of Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4th District), left, we cannot wait to see the businesses that become the next big thing as a result of the instruction that will be given. Further as the (Baltimore) graduates Eric Franklin and Jyothi Bhargava explained, these individual CEOs will look back and see that they have in fact become very close, sparking new lifetime connections.

Over the next few months, WMADO will be working to bring out the best in these entrepreneurs and as this will be the springboard to “Step It Up!” with targeted strategies to accelerate growth, explore financing, diversify markets, and expand networking.

Welcome Emerging Leaders Class of 2014!
Joy Anderson, Chris Bloyer, Darryl Britt, Courtney Fairchild, Dwight Franklin, Andres Echeverri, Errin Green, Angela Harpalani, Robyn Holden, Renee Holmes, Sunny Kim, Jerry McCargo, Michael Russalesi, Ola Sage, Ali Sajjad, Ravinder Singh, Sophia Tong, Michael Thornton, Sr., Lavonda Graham-Williams, and Jacqueline Woodard.