The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The initiative provides these executives with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities.
Over the course of seven months, participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. Recruitment for the Emerging Leaders Initiative occurs on an annual basis, beginning in February and classes typically begin in April. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable (expanding from 10 to 48 communities since 2008), enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts.