Executive Training Program for VT Entrepreneurs

Vermont Technical College, as the educational partner of the SBA's 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 Tech's 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, but in 2016 the agency determined the program could benefit 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.

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.

Business owners interested in the program need to fill out the online application by March 1 at www.interise.org/SBAemergingleaders. 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 info go to www.sba.gov/emergingleaders