HELENA – Interested in growing your business, but don’t know how?  SBA is bringing the Emerging Leaders 200 Initiative (e200) and its MBA-style program to Montana small businesses.  This initiative for entrepreneurs has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities to small business owners across the United States. 

The cornerstone of e200 is an in-depth executive level MBA-style curriculum including networking and other resources necessary for success.  Participants in the program will graduate with a clear 3 year strategic plan for long term growth and strategies to achieve size and scale. 

Atlanta e200 participant Sonya Jones credits the program with motivating her to break free of a “business as usual” mind-set.  “I felt my business had stagnated,” says Jones, owner of the Sweet Auburn Bread Co., a small downtown bakery she opened in 1997.  “I had been wondering how to take my business to the next level.  What I learned is even though we’re one store will all of 405 square feet, we can grow as a business without growing physically.”

The free nine-month course begins in April in Helena, and includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and 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 Montana District Office is currently recruiting 17 businesses, 10 of which must be Native American owned, to participate in the program.  To be eligible for this opportunity you must have been in business for at least 3 years and have annual revenues of $300,000 or more.

Besides creating a fully fleshed out three-year strategic plan, past e200 participants point to the relationships they forged with fellow businesspeople in their communities as perhaps the most valuable byproduct of the program.  Not only did they become strategic sounding boards and advisors for one another, they also began doing business together. 

“This is a great opportunity for our Montana businesses and we look forward to helping take their businesses to the next level,” said Robert Much, Acting District Director for the Montana District Office.

If you are interested and can make the time commitment, please contact Tom White at the Montana District Office by calling him at 406.441.1078.