March 21 deadline: Apply for SBDC at FIU’s first Emerging Leaders initiative.

SBDC at FIU, site of the upcoming Emerging Leaders initiative, recently celebrated its opening at a reception attended by (l. to r.), Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU; Jonel F. Hein, Deputy District Director, South Florida District Office, SBA; Michael W. Myhre, Director, Florida SBDC Network; and David R. Klock, Dean, College of Business, FIU.

The Small Business Development Center at Florida International University (FIU) has been selected as the host location for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders initiative, a seven-month intensive training program designed to help business owners and executives take their businesses to the next level.

The application period for Emerging Leaders is now open, and will close on March 21. Fifteen Miami-Dade business owners will be selected for the program by the SBA’s South Florida District.

The Emerging Leaders initiative focuses on businesses that are poised for growth, in communities with significant numbers of minority-owned businesses. The free program, offered for the first time in Miami, will enable each participating business to create a three-year, tailored strategic growth plan. Over 2,000 small businesses nationwide have participated in the program since it began in 2008. This year, it will be offered in 28 U.S. communities.

“This initiative will provide executives from 15 Miami-Dade businesses with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within the county,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero.

Executives selected for the program must commit to approximately 100 hours of classroom and out-of-classroom work. The first class meets Apr. 15 and will meet on alternating Tuesday nights through October, from 6 to 9 p.m., at FIU Downtown on Brickell, 1101 Brickell Ave. in Miami.

To qualify, executives should be the owner or principal in a small business that has annual revenues of at least $400,000; been in business for at least 3 years; and have at least one additional employee. More importantly, the executive must commit to attending 13 evening training sessions and completing required homework.

The curriculum, called the StreetWise Steps™ to Small Business Growth, is comprised of five modules: Business and Strategy Assessment; Financials; Marketing and Sales; Resources (People, Accessing Capital and Government Contracting); and Strategic Growth Plan Presentations. In addition to workshops, the program provides participants the opportunity to work with experienced mentors and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.

“This is an excellent opportunity for FIU alumni, faculty and students who own small businesses to take advantage of an outstanding set of resources designed to bring businesses to the next level,” said David R. Klock, dean of the FIU College of Business. “I applaud the SBA Southern District and its director, Pancho Marrero, for bringing to our community a program that will lead to the creation of business growth and new jobs. SBDC at FIU is proud to serve as host of this program.”

Executives interested in registering for the SBA South Florida Emerging Leaders Initiative can register online prior to the March 21 deadline at:

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