NEWS: The Venture Center & SBA Join Forces for Emerging Leaders Initiative

 Business image created by Peoplecreations -

Business image created by Peoplecreations -

[LITTLE ROCK, Ark.]  March 7, 2017— The Venture Center and the Arkansas District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration have partnered to bring the Emerging Leaders executive-level training series to Little Rock. The program, which will run from March 30 thru Sept. 28 at The Venture Center, is specifically designed to stimulate and support the expansion of small business.

Launching in 51 cities and communities across the country this year, the Emerging Leaders training focuses on small, poised-for-growth companies with potential for job creation. The seven-month executive entrepreneurship education twice monthly series provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

“The initiative has trained more than 3,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities since its inception in 2008, and its impact continues to expand,” said former SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “The training, mentorship and resources that these small business owners receive help them take their enterprises to the next level, spurring business growth, job creation and stronger communities.”

The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities. Graduates have reported that nearly 70 percent achieved revenue growth and over 80 percent created new jobs or retained all existing jobs. Graduates have secured federal, state, local and tribal contract awards over $700 million.

Participants of the program will receive membership benefits from The Venture Center including access to its network of mentors.

Businesses that have annual revenues of at least $400,000, have been in business at least three years and have at least two total employees are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 11, 2017.

For more information, visit

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About the Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

About The Venture Center
The Venture Center helps entrepreneurs turn their start-ups into viable, high-growth businesses. By leveraging the expertise of a world class team of mentors, intensive programming and introductions to the investor community, The VC serves as an engine for economic growth in Central Arkansas and beyond. In the first two and a half years, The VC’s member companies have created more than 280 jobs, generated $12 million in revenue and have raised a combined $19 million in capital. 

SBA - Arkansas District Office
Karen Musick, 501-324-7379, x307
Public Information Officer

The Venture Center
Jennifer Thompson, 501-404-9875
Director of Marketing & Communications