MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont Technical College, as the educational partner of the SBAs Emerging Leaders program, is seeking 20 entrepreneurs throughout the state to participate in a free business course starting in April.
Emerging Leaders is a free executive-level training program for established business owners poised for growth. Over the course of seven months at Vermont Techs Williston campus, each participating entrepreneur will learn immediate ways to improve their business and will create a three-year strategic growth plan to build a sustainable business of size and scale.
The Small Business Administration established the Emerging Leaders program in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities and 2016 the agency expanded the program to rural states such as New Hampshire and Vermont. This is the initiative’s second year in the Green Mountain State.
According to 2014 impact data from the national program, 68 percent of businesses who completed the program increased revenues and 95 percent of alumni would recommend the program to a fellow small business owner. Participants are also successful in accessing new capital and new contracts with government and anchor institutions.
“Last year we agreed to host the inaugural class because we felt it aligned perfectly with Vermont Techs entrepreneurship education and alignment to workforce training in Vermont. After seeing the results and the eagerness for a class like this firsthand, we knew we wanted to continue our partnership with the SBA hosting Emerging Leaders,” said Patricia Moulton, Interim President of Vermont Tech.
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, been in business for at least three years, have at least one full time employee other than self, and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.
The majority of Vermont businesses in the 2016 Emerging Leaders class had annual revenues in excess of $1 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 caliber of the instructor, this program, and the curriculum is incredible. I have been grateful for all the resources offered to me and my small business. The flow of the class itself has been highly optimal for maximum success. Working on the business, not just in the business, is built into my workflow consistently going forward,” said Stephanie T. Hainley of White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, and graduate of the Vermont Emerging Leaders class of 2016.
Business owners interested in the program need to fill out the online application at www.interise.org/SBAemergingleaders by March 1. Interise, a non-profit organization specializing in entrepreneurial education, oversees the Emerging Leaders nationwide. The SBA reviews the applications and selects the class participants.
For more information, visit www.sba.gov/emergingleaders, email email@example.com or call 802-828-4422 ext. 203.