SBA Emerging Leaders Program

SBA Emerging Leaders Program Main Photo

9 Mar 2020



Info on the program:

  • Name of program:  SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative
  • Who can participate:   This training is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives that:
    • Have annual revenues of at least $250,000 (the materials say $400,000 but the SBA can consider businesses with $250,000)
    • Have been in business for at least 3 years
    • Have at least one employee, other than self
  • In what ways does the training help my business? The training is specifically designed to stimulate and support the expansion of your business.
  • What are the overall benefits of participation?  The end result of the executive education prepares and encourages small businesses to move to the next level on their growth trajectory and to help them emerge as self-sustaining businesses that create jobs and build communities.  
  • Is participation in the Emerging Leaders Initiative free? The only cost is your time and commitment to complete the curriculum over the course of seven months. All other costs are covered by SBA and our local partners. 


The SBA is now accepting applications for Emerging Leaders, a free executive-level, mini-MBA style training program in the Twin Cities and Fargo/Moorhead metro areas. The deadline for small to medium-sized business owners and CEOs to apply is March 27, 2020, and classes are scheduled to begin the last week of April.

The seven-month intensive, entrepreneurship education series is for small, poised-for-growth companies with potential for job creation. It includes approximately 100 hours of class time per participant and expands opportunities for small business owners with access to experienced mentors, workshops, and connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

SBA’s Emerging Leaders has been a catalyst and highly beneficial for small businesses. This is the 10th year the program will be held in Minnesota and recent alumni report positive outcomes, including:

  • 100% would recommend the program to others
  • 62% of recent alumni responding created or maintained jobs
  • 50% increased or maintained revenue
  • 81% reported being profitable

A maximum of 20 Emerging Leaders spots are available and classes will be held every other week from April through October. To participate, small businesses must:

  • Be in Twin Cities, Fargo/Moorhead or the surrounding metro areas
  • Generate revenues between $400,000 and $10 million
  • Have been in business for at least three years
  • Have at least one employee besides the CEO participant
  • Attend 13 workshops and seven mentoring sessions
  • Complete required coursework

More information about the initiative can be found at

To apply in the Twin Cities metro area, go to and go to the From Our Office section. From there you can download and fill out a one-page application. Send the completed form to Sarah Swenty at (link sends e-mail) with Minnesota Emerging Leaders Application in the subject line.  Or use the attached Interest Form.