N.J. small business owners invited to apply to SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey district office on Tuesday invited New Jersey small business owners to apply for its 2019 Emerging Leaders Initiative.

The initiative is a seven-month entrepreneurship training program for executive-level small business owners throughout the state.

Al Titone, SBA New Jersey’s district director, said this year’s course will take place from April 23 to October 15 and be held at the Rutgers Business School in Newark.

The program is free, but it expects students to participate in 100 hours of classroom time.

“The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives who have annual revenues of at least $250,000; have been in business for at least three years; and have at least one full-time employee, other than self,” Titone said. “Between now and March 22 we are looking for 20 of the most qualified small business owners who meet this criteria, are committed to the program,  and are on the verge of taking their businesses to the next level.”

In addition to the training, small business owners will be given the chance to work with mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with peers, local business leaders and financial communities.

“Over the last five years, participants have come from all parts of the state and despite the arduous time commitment, New Jersey has maintained a 95 percent graduation rate,” Titone said. “When we interview potential candidates to become part of the Emerging Leaders Initiative, we’re looking for small business owners to make a significant time commitment and who have the desire to grow their business significantly. In exchange, we are offering small business owners the opportunity to earn what is essentially a mini-MBA. We have seen 73 small business owners go through this program in New Jersey and each of them has improved their business processes as a result of being enrolled in the Emerging Leaders program.”

The series is currently available in 60 cities across the nation. Entering its 12th year, it has trained more than 5,000 small business owners, created more than 6,500 jobs, generated more than $300 million in new financing and secured more than $3.16 billion in government contracts.

“Over time, the Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities,” Titone said. “We are excited about recruiting and interviewing candidates for our sixth class here in Newark. Our primary goal is to get inner city small business owners, who are poised for next-stage growth, and provide them with the necessary support, resources and skills to help them to achieve long-term success.”