2016 SBA Emerging Leaders program kicks off this Friday

By Lyndsey Edwards

Are you a small business owner looking to grow your company in Kansas? The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders program can help you take your business to the next level.

Emerging LeadersThe Emerging Leaders Program is a class designed to specifically focus on the professional development of existing businesses ready for growth in Kansas – offered at no financial cost.

During the seven months, participants will learn to emerge a self-sustaining business with a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets that creates jobs and build communities. Participants will also have access to a network of peers and business leaders who continue to provide support and accountability as the growth plan is implemented.

2014 was the first year for the program to be offered in Wichita. In 2015, sixteen Wichita-area business professionals graduated from the program, including these seven chamber members:

Lynne Bird, Robi Lorik, Jeff Jones, Scott Wegerer  and Rob Whitmer

Lynne Bird, Robi Lorik, Jeff Jones, Scott Wegerer and Rob Whitmer

  • Lynne Bird of Wichita Stamp & Seal, Inc.
  • Jennifer Caughron of KeyCentrix, LLC
  • Robi Lorik of PWI, Inc.
  • Jorge Montoya of JMT Industries, Inc.
  • Scott Wegerer of Five Star Mechanical, Inc.
  • Rob Whitmer of Net-Ability, LLC
  • Jeff Jones of Tru-Building, Inc.

Jones said what he liked most about the class was that he was able to develop a clear, concise three to five year plan with great input from other business leaders, not only in class, but from the community as well. From the program, he gained great friends who are in similar business situations and also, a clearer understanding of what his strengths and weaknesses are. “Anyone serious about their business should commit the time to study with others about their business,” he said.

The program is offered for any businesses who meet the following criteria:

  • An established business (in existence for at least three years)
  • Annual gross revenues between $300,00 and $10 million
  • Have three or more employees (recommended)
  • Time commitment of the business owner, or executive “decision-maker”, to dedicate themselves to attend all thirteen classes and develop a strategic growth plan (a 100+ hour commitment).

The 2016 class will begin in April. Those interested in participating are invited to attend a free, one-hour information session this Friday, Feb. 19 from 3 – 4 p.m. at the Small Business Administration Office. Executives from the 2015 class will be available to answer questions and provide feedback.

Applications for the program are being accepted now until March 1. For more information, visit the SBA website or click here to apply.