Vermont is seeking 15 small business owners to participate in the Emerging Leaders Initiative beginning in April at Vermont Technical College in Williston, Vt.
Emerging Leaders, established by the federal Small Business Administration, is a free, executive-level training program for entrepreneurs to learn how to establish a three-year strategic growth plan for their businesses. The strategic plans emphasize organizational structure, resource network and assistance needed to build a sustainable business of size and scale.
The seven-month program consists of 13 three-hour, in-class sessions, seven out-of-class CEO mentoring sessions, assigned reading and other assignments.
Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, have been in business for at least three years, have one employee other than self, and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.
There are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate. Some examples of participating businesses include manufacturers, retail stores, wholesalers, contractors, professional services and food service.
The Small Business Administration established Emerging Leaders in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities. This is the initiative’s inaugural year in Vermont. In 2012 the SBA selected Interise, a non-profit organization specializing in entrepreneurial education, to oversee the initiative. The Boston-based organization selects the instructor and establishes the Emerging Leaders curriculum. In the past 10 years, Interise has assisted more than 3,000 small businesses across the U.S.