New SBA Program Empowers Small Business Owners to Thrive

Small business owners and executives understand that to effectively scale to and reach their goals they must not only be open to change and new ideas, but they need to embrace them. Sometimes those new ideas are sparked from working with knowledgeable consultants, enrolling in an executive MBA program or simply hiring experienced senior staff to provide a different perspective. While these options are great for both professional and business growth, they can also come with a hefty price tag.

The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) introduced the THRIVE Emerging Leaders Reimagined program in April 2022. It is a free, executive-level training series designed to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses across the US Let’s cover the basics of the program, its benefits, who qualifies, and how business owners and executives can apply.

What Is the THRIVE Program?

Train, Hope, Rise, Innovate, Venture, Elevate (“THRIVE”) is a reimagined version of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program, which has connected more than 5,000 small business owners with new opportunities and access to education since its inception in 2008. to the SBA, the cost-free program’s participants have created more than 11,000 jobs, generated close to $ 1 billion in new financing, and secured $ 4 billion-plus in government contracts.

The new program offers a six-month curriculum designed to help owners and executives take their small businesses to the next level. The course is designed around personalization by doing away with a one-size-fits-all model in exchange for increased engagement, problem-solving and peer-to-peer interaction.

What Is Covered Under THRIVE

The program includes mentoring and in-person coaching from C-level executives and experienced subject matter experts, self-paced instruction with demonstrated business sustainability and personalized micro-sessions customized for small businesses’ unique needs. These are all offered through a hybrid model that includes virtual and classroom sessions.

THRIVE Emerging Leaders Reimagined classes run from July 5 through December 16, 2022. The curriculum includes 33 hours of online learning and 11 in-person sessions during the six-month session. In total, the SBA anticipates participants will require 100 total hours of combined learning, homework and coaching / mentoring time. Sessions will be offered in 68 locations throughout 2022 in order to help connect with high-potential business owners and executives nationwide.

How Does the THRIVE Program Help My Business?

THRIVE is designed to help you and your business grow into economic leaders in your markets by offering practical tools and strategies designed to open new avenues for growth, development and funding. Since each cohort is region-based, you’ll be connected to a network of government resources and local business leaders who help invest time and energy into your business. As part of the curriculum, attendees will produce a three-year strategic-growth action plan for their business with defined performance goals to access additional support resources in the future.

Who Qualifies for the THRIVE?

It is available to current business owners and executives across the country. (The program explicitly states that this is not a program built for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business.)

The advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives who:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $ 250,000.
  • Have been in business for at least three years.
  • Have at least one employee, in addition to themselves.

There are no industry or service line restrictions to companies that apply to participate, as long as they fall within the criteria above. According to the SBA, participating for-profit companies come from a variety of industries including manufacturers, retail / wholesalers, contractors and food services companies to name a few.

How Do I Apply for the Program?

Participants can apply on the SBA THRIVE website. There is no cost to apply. Applications are open through May 31, 2022.

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