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New York SBA offers free “mini MBA” for small to mid-size business owners

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The Small Business Association of New York is looking for applicants for its free, seven-month “mini-MBA” training program. Submitted

After 32 years of working for banks and corporations, Valerie Colville decided to work for herself.

She co-founded CC Solutions, a financial consulting company that specializes in export finance out of her home in Yonkers. That was seven years ago. Today, it has offices in Manhattan, England and Brazil.

But that doesn’t mean Colville is resting on her laurels.

Last year, when the U.S. Small Business Administration offered its Emerging Leaders program for the first time in in Yonkers, Colville pounced on the opportunity.

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“We are expanding our services to small businesses and I wanted to learn how small businesses can grow, both for my own company and to better serve my clients,” said Colville. “I wanted to learn about contemporary marketing strategies, including all the digital forms of marketing.”

And best of all, it was free.

The seven-month training course, marketed by the SBA as a “mini MBA,” is being offered again this year. There will be two cohorts of Emerging Leaders – one in Yonkers and one in Manhattan. The deadline for applications to the 2018 Emerging Leaders is Feb. 23. Classes begin in April and run through October. Here are the eligibility requirements:

– Have an annual revenue between $400,000 and $10 million

– Have been in business at least three years

– Employ at least one person in addition to the owner

– Be a key decision maker in the company

The program offers small business owners a chance to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

Colville said her class was made up of a diverse group of participants including a travel agent, a contractor, owner of a renewable energy company and owner of a high-end car wash. They ranged in age from 20’s to 60’s.

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts, per the SBA.

“It’s a wonderfully structured program and covers all kids of areas, from marketing to finance to HR,” said Colville. “It’s a great opportunity to learn how to better manage and grow your business. And it’s free.”

Information session

When: Tue, Feb. 20,  2 – 3 p.m. 

Where: Yonkers Public Library

1 Larkin Center, Yonkers

Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is the new audience strategist and a member of the Editorial Board for The Journal News/lohud, part of the USA Today Network.

Twitter: @SwapnaVenugopal

Read or Share this story: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/2018/02/09/new-york-sba-offers-free-mini-mba-small-mid-size-business-owners/324720002/

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