2019 SBA South Florida Emerging Leaders Initiative

MIAMI –  Emerging Leaders Initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts. 

Given the success of SBA’s Emerging Leaders, the SBA has expanded the initiative to include 60 locations to help growing entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Training Overview

Over the course of seven months, participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. Recruitment for the Emerging Leaders Initiative occurs on an annual basis, beginning in February and classes typically begin in April. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts. 

Government statistics confirm that underserved small businesses are the engines of sustained economic growth and job creation. Small businesses in underserved cities added close to three times as many jobs to their local economies as large companies over the last decade. SBA launched the Initiative to capitalize on this proven capacity for stimulating jobs and growth in America’s cities.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities.  Developed by SBA and drawing on the experiences of advisors and business leaders in urban communities across the country, this comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to catapult your company to the next level and help it emerge as a force in your community.

Do I qualify to participate?

This training is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives that:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $250,000
  • Have been in business for at least 3 years
  • Have at least one employee, other than self

What are the key program highlights? 

  • Customized training for “C” (CEO, COO, etc.) level executives with demonstrated business sustainability of at least 3 years in business and annual revenue of at least $250K 
  • Participant recruitment begins in February through SBA’s local district offices and classes typically begin in April
  • A three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets to help the participant emerge as self-sustaining businesses that creates jobs and build communities
  • Includes 100 + hours of professional specialized training and peer-to-peer counseling delivered over the course of seven months
  • Specialized areas of training include:
    • Growth Strategies Plans
    • Financing and Access to Capital
    • Government Contracting
    • CEO Mentoring

What types of businesses participate in the program?

There are currently no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate. Some examples of participating businesses include:  manufacturers, retail/wholesalers, contractors, professional services and food service.

In what ways does the training help my business?

The training is specifically designed to stimulate and support the expansion of your business. The curriculum provides strategies to help you access new avenues of capital. It offers practical tools to pursue new paths for business development. It surrounds you with a network of government resources and local business leaders prepared to invest time and energy in your business.

What are the overall benefits of participation? 

The end result of the executive education prepares and encourages small businesses to move to the next level on their growth trajectory and to help them emerge as self-sustaining businesses that create jobs and build communities.  At the conclusion of the training, entrepreneurs produce a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets that will help them access the necessary support and resources to move forward.  

Is participation in the Emerging Leaders Initiative free?

YES! The only cost is your time and commitment to complete the curriculum over the course of seven months. All other costs are covered by SBA and our local partners. 

How do I sign up?

Business executives interested in participating should complete the online registration form (link is external).  For registration follow up questions, please email Jonel.hein@sba.gov or call 305-536-5527.

Emerging Leaders Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emerging Leaders Class?

When will the Emerging Leaders Class be held?

Where will the Emerging Leaders Class be held?

How do I register?

What is the deadline for registration?

How large will the class size be?

What will the StreetWise Steps Curriculum Cover?

Is there a cost?

What is the time commitment?

How many classes can participants miss and still get a certificate?

Who can I contact for more information?

 

What is Emerging Leaders Class? Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The initiative provides these executives with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities. Graduates from Emerging Leaders have: created over 6,500 new full-time jobs; secured federal, state, local and tribal contracts awards over $3.1 Billion; accessed over $300 Million in new financing; and 95% were satisfied with the Emerging Leaders program.

When will the Emerging Leaders Class be held? Classes will begin mid-April and end in October. Classes will be held every other week for seven months; class hours are from 6-9 p.m.

Where will the Emerging Leaders Class be held? SBS South Florida will host the two classes: Miami and Tampa.
MIAMI: Classes will be held at Westland Gardens Park, 13507 NW 107th Avenue, Hialeah Gardens, Florida 33018.

TAMPA: Classes will be held at University of South Florida Small Business Development Center, 1101 Channelside Drive, Suite 210, Tampa, Florida 33602.

How do I register? Interested applicants should register online at http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders

What is the deadline for registration? Interested applicants should register online at http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders no later than March 08, 2019. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility, SBA will schedule an interview, and finalists will be selected and notified.

How large will the class size be? SBA will offer the Emerging Leaders initiative to 20 small business owners (participants) in Miami and 20 in Tampa.

What will the StreetWise Steps Curriculum Cover? The initiative uses a copyrighted curriculum called the StreetWise Steps™ to Small Business Growth. There are five modules that will be covered in class. Module 1: Business and Strategy Assessment. Module 2: Financials. Module 3: Marketing and Sales. Module 4: Resources- People, Accessing Capital and Government Contracting. Module 5: Putting it all together- Strategic Growth Plan Presentations.

Is there a cost? FREE training program is offered by SBA at no costs to the participating small businesses.

What is the time commitment? The initiative will begin mid-April and end in October. Participants will commit to 40 hours of in-class time, divided over 13 in-person sessions. Sessions are typically held every other week. Participants will also spend at least 12 hours over the course of the curriculum in self-directed CEO mentoring groups. Participants should expect to spend 3-4 hours preparing for each session by completing out-of-class, practical session preparation. All instructional in-class sessions, CEO Mentoring Groups and session preparation are interconnected and of equal importance. In total, each participant can expect to commit approximately 100 hours to analyzing their business and planning for growth.

How many classes can participants miss and still get a certificate? To receive a certificate, participants cannot miss more than two classroom sessions. If a participant misses more than two classes, they may to continue to attend the classes for learning, but may not receive a certificate for completing Emerging Leaders.

Who can I contact for more information? Contacts for the SBA South Florida District are:

• Project Manager in Miami: Jonel Hein, (305) 536-5527, Jonel.hein@sba.gov

• Project Manager in Tampa: C.J. Castro, (813) 228-2100 ext. 24, Hipolito.Castro@sba.gov

• District Director : Victoria Guerrero

To find out more on the benefits of the Emerging Leaders Program and to hear statements from Emerging Leaders Graduates, please click HERE.