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Chicago 2014 Emerging Leaders FAQ

emerging leaders Chicago


WHAT   Emerging Leaders is an intensive executive-level training initiative to accelerate growth of high potential small businesses located in Americaís cities. Developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Emerging Leaders offers qualified business owners powerful benefits including innovative strategies to grow, acquire financing, access new markets and leverage networking.

WHO   The Emerging Leaders training is open to small businesses located in the Chicagoland area that:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $400,000
  • Have been in business for at least three (3) years
  • Have at least one employee other than the owner

This training is not for start-up businesses. Class size is limited to one executive per business.


WHERE   Classes are held in SBA's Illinois District Office at 500 W. Madison in Chicago above Metra's Ogilvie Transportation Center.

WHEN   Thirteen classes will begin in April and are held every other week through early November.

COST   The only costs are your time and commitment to complete the curriculum. Anticipate 100 hours of combined classroom, homework and peer-to-peer mentoring.

MORE   For more information, visit SBA's Emerging Leaders page at: http://www.sba.gov/emergingleaders

APPLY   Business executives interested in participating should complete the online registration form at: www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emerging Leaders (formally e200)? SBA will offer the Emerging Leaders initiative to 15 small business owners (participants) in Illinois. The initiative uses a copyrighted curriculum called the StreetWise Steps™ to Small Business Growth. The curriculum gives small business owners an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through a combination of 1) executive education, 2) practical tips based on “real-life” business experience and 3) advice from business leaders that can be readily applied.

Is Emerging Leaders offered in all SBA district offices? Emerging Leaders is currently offered in 27 host cities including Chicago as listed on SBA’s webpage www.sba.gov/emergingleaders

What will the StreetWise Steps™ Curriculum cover? 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? This FREE training program is offered by SBA at no costs to the participating small businesses.

What is the time commitment? The initiative will begin in late-April, 2014 and end in November, 2014. Participants commit to 40 hours of in-class time, divided over 13 in-person sessions. Sessions are typically held every other week on Mondays from 6:00p to 9:00p. 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, he/she may continue to attend the classes to learn, but may not receive a certificate for completing Emerging Leaders.

What will the Small Business get out of Emerging Leaders? There are no guarantees, but the statistics reported by businesses completing the curriculum speak for themselves.

Emerging Leaders graduates:

  • Created nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs
  • Secured federal, state, local and tribal contracts awards over $1 Billion
  • Accessed over $73 Million in new financing
  • 95% were satisfied with the Emerging Leaders program.


What is the deadline for registering? Interested applicants should register online at: http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders no later than March 21, 2014. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility, SBA will schedule interviews and finalists will be selected and notified by April 1st. Classes will begin in late-April. The classroom venue for training will be held at the SBA Illinois District Office above Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 W. Madison, Chicago, IL 60661).

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Dennis Foldenauer
2014 Emerging Leaders Chicago Program Manager SBA Illinois District Office
O: 312.886.0704 – M: 847.461.3414 dennis.foldenauer@sba.gov