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SBA Focuses On Underserved Communities

 WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Small Business Administration will expand the e200 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative to eight new cities and communities in 2011. The expansion means the successful program will be available to entrepreneurs in 27 cities across the United States.

 

“Over the last few years e200 has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for many promising small businesses in underserved communities – in particular those who have been most impacted by these tough economic times,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “Graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. Adding eight new locations builds on this success and provides even more entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the support, resources and skills to succeed.”

 

The eight new cities and communities being added this year are: Youngstown, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Farmington, N.M.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Helena, Mont.

 

The e200 Emerging Leaders initiative has helped more than 600 promising small business owners across the country grow their businesses since 2008. Results gathered from a recent survey of past e200 graduating classes show dramatic advances for these small businesses.

 

Despite the recent recession/no growth economy, more than half of the businesses that have completed the e200 training have shown an increase in revenue of over $7 million. Nearly 60 percent have reported creating new jobs in their communities.  Surveyed entrepreneurs also reported having secured nearly $10 million in new financing for their businesses, with an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, post-trainees have reported securing nearly 500 federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $112 million.

 

This initiative for entrepreneurs in underserved markets has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for both urban small business owners and, more recently in 2010,  added emphasis on Native American communities. There were 121 urban area graduates in 2010 and 125 from Native American communities, with the combined 246 graduates representing the largest graduating class since the e200 initiative began in 2008.

 

“SBA’s expansion of e200 Emerging Leaders to new locations last year made this valuable training accessible to more promising entrepreneurs than ever,” said Mills. “The training, mentorship and resources that these small businesses received is already helping them take their businesses to the next level, do their part in the national economic recovery and achieve their own piece of the American dream.”

                       

The nine-month training includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities. Local recruitment for the 2011 training cycle will start in February through SBA district offices and classes are scheduled to begin in April.

 

The number of cities hosting e200 initiative classes in 2011 has increased to 27 and includes:

 

Urban Markets

• Atlanta, Ga.

• Baltimore, Md.

• Boston, Mass.

• Chicago, Ill.

• Dallas, Tex.

• Denver, Colo.

• Des Moines, Iowa

• Detroit, Mich.

• Fresno, Calif.

• Jacksonville, Fla.

• Memphis, Tenn.

• Minneapolis, Minn.

• New Orleans, La.

• Philadelphia, Pa.

• St. Louis, Mo.

• Syracuse, N.Y.

• Youngstown, Ohio

 

Native American Communities

• Albuquerque, N.M.

• Helena, Mont.

• Farmington, N.M.

• Honolulu, Hawaii

• Milwaukee, Wisc.

• Phoenix, Ariz.

• Portland, Ore.

• Santa Ana, Calif.

• Seattle, Wash.

•Tulsa, Okla.


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