Bee's Wrap Owner Accepted into SBA Executive Training Program

Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) member Sarah Kaeck of Bee's Wrap in Bristol was selected for the 2017 class of VT Emerging Leaders. One of only 20 VT entrepreneurs chosen to participate in this U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) training program, this free course is offered at Vermont Technical College (VTC) and designed for entrepreneurs looking to grow their small businesses. The program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and assists with the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.  

The SBA established the Emerging Leaders program in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities, but in 2016 the agency determined the program could benefit rural states such as New Hampshire and Vermont.  This is the program’s second year in Vermont. Fellow ACEDC members who participated in the first year were Jeffrey Weaber of Aqua Vitea and Andrea Murray of Vermont Integrated Architecture, both of Middlebury.

Vermont’s graduates will be assessed annually for three years upon completing the program. The 2015 national assessment showed graduates of the program increased their businesses revenue on average by $362,000 and experienced a 39 percent growth rate after one year of completing the program.

Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. There are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate. 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 selected for the 2017 class have annual revenues in excess of $1 million.