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SBA Expands its Emerging Leaders Initiative Helping Small Businesses to Thrive

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the launch of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Initiative, a seven-month executive-level training series targeting small businesses with high-growth potential in underserved cities across the nation.  This year, three new cities have been added, bringing the number of participating communities to 55.

Local recruitment for the 2017 training cycle has begun and is ongoing at designated SBA district offices.  Classes are scheduled to begin in April, and interested small business owners can learn more on eligibility and how to apply at the SBA’s website:

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative delivers entrepreneurship education and training focused on small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local city leaders and the financial community.

This year, there are three new locations being added to the initiative for the first time, expanding availability of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative to entrepreneurs in Mobile, Ala., Albany, N.Y., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained more than 4,000 small business owners in underserved communities since its inception in 2008, and its impact continues to expand.  SBA’s Emerging Leaders continues to be a catalyst for expanded opportunities in underserved communities.  Emerging Leaders graduates reported that nearly 70 percent achieved revenue growth and over 80 percent created new jobs or retained all existing jobs.  Graduates also secured federal, state, local and tribal contract awards of over $700 million.  SBA’s Emerging Leaders graduated 775 small business owners in 2016, representing the largest graduating class.

The 2017 Emerging Leaders host locations are as follows:

*Albany, N.Y.                                     Milwaukee, Wis.

Albuquerque, N.M.                           Minneapolis, Minn.

Atlanta, Ga.                                        *Mobile, Ala.

Austin/San Antonio, Texas                Montpelier, Vt.

Bakersfield, Calif.                              Nashville, Tenn.

Baltimore, Md.                                   Newark, N.J.

Birmingham, Ala.                               New Orleans, La.

Boise, Idaho                                        New York City, N.Y.

Boston, Mass.                                     Oklahoma City, Okla.

Charlotte, N.C.                                   Philadelphia, Pa.

Chicago, Ill.                                        Phoenix, Ariz.

Columbus, Ohio                                 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Concord, N.H.                                     Portland, Ore.

Dallas, Texas                                      Providence, R.I.

Denver, Colo.                                     Sacramento, Calif.

Detroit, Mich.                                     Salt Lake City, Utah

Fargo, N.D.                                         San Juan, Puerto Rico

Honolulu, Hawaii                               Seattle, Wash.

Houston, Texas                                   Spokane, Wash.

Indianapolis, Ind.                                St. Louis, Mo.

Jackson, Miss.                                     Syracuse, N.Y.

Las Vegas, Nev.                                  Tampa, Fla.

Little Rock, Ark.                                *Virgin Islands

Los Angeles, Calif.                             Washington, D.C.

Louisville, Ky.                                    Wichita, Kan.

Memphis, Tenn.                                 Yonkers, N.Y.

Miami, Fla.                                         Youngstown, Ohio

*New locations for 2017 include Mobile (Ala.), Albany (N.Y.), and U.S. Virgin Islands.

For additional information on the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative, or to contact the participating local area SBA District Office, go online to


Release Date: Friday, March 10, 2017

Release Number: 17-10

Contact: Cecelia Taylor (202) 401-3059

Internet Address:

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