The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative (E200) is a federal training initiative that specifically focuses on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The E200-Birmingham 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. The Alabama SBDC Network has been working with executives in Birmingham, and throughout the state, since 1980, and welcomes this one-time SBA initiative to Birmingham.
During this seven-month program, 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.
Eligibility and Requirements
The Emerging Leaders Initiative is an intensive executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses in America’s underserved cities. Developed by SBA and drawing on the experiences of advisors and business leaders in urban communities across the country, this comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to catapult your company to the next level and help it emerge as a force in your community.
REGISTRATION HAS ENDED for Emerging Leaders in Birmingham and Mobile, but inquiries are welcome:
Do I qualify to participate?
This training is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. Start-ups and other pre-venture businesses in Birmingham or Mobile can meet with a professional business advisor at their local SBDC for no-cost, confidential assistance. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives that:
- Have annual revenues of at least $400,000
- Have been in business for at least 3 years
- Have at least one employee, other than self
What are the key program highlights?
- Customized training for “C” (CEO, COO, etc.) level executives with demonstrated business sustainability of at least 3 years in business and annual revenue of at least $400K
- Participant recruitment begins in February through SBA’s local district offices and classes typically begin in April
- A three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets to help the participant emerge as self-sustaining businesses that creates jobs and build communities
- Includes 100 + hours of professional specialized training and peer-to-peer counseling delivered over the course of seven months
- Specialized areas of training include:
- Growth Strategies Plans
- Financing and Access to Capital
- Government Contracting
- CEO Mentoring
What types of businesses participate in the program?
Any type of business in any industry can participate; there are no restrictions. Some examples of businesses that have participated in the past include manufacturers, retail/wholesalers, contractors, professional services and food service.
In what ways does the training help my business?
The training is specifically designed to stimulate and support the expansion of your business. The curriculum provides strategies to help you access new avenues of capital. It offers practical tools to pursue new paths for business development. It surrounds you with a network of government resources and local business leaders prepared to invest time and energy in your business.
What if I can’t commit to attending a training program that stretches over 7 months?
The Alabama SBDC Network and other SBA resource partners are able to provide confidential one-on-one advising services that will address the specific issues facing a company. This interaction prepares and encourages small businesses to move to the next level on their growth trajectory. The Alabama SBDC Network provides no-cost business advising to Alabama’s small business community in the following areas:
- Starting a small business in Alabama
- Grow Your Business: Companies poised for second-stage growth
- Government Procurement (PTAC), plus a free bid-matching service
- Go International: Tap into the Alabama International Trade Center and Export Alabama Alliance
- Training Courses are offered statewide, to businesses of all types, throughout the year
- Confidential, No-Cost, One-on-one advising