The North Carolina district of the U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting applications from Charlotte-area small-business owners for the sixth cohort of its Emerging Leaders program.

The federal training initiative is designed to accelerate the growth of established small businesses in underserved cities. The program provides an organizational framework, a resource network and other support services to help small-business executives build sustainable companies. 

Participants engage in approximately 100 hours of specialized training at no cost, culminating in a three-year, strategic growth plan. Due to the pandemic, cohort members will meet virtually twice a month from mid-April through October. The deadline to apply is March 31.

To qualify, applicants must :

  • have annual revenues of at least $250,000
  • have been in business for at least three years
  • have at least one employee, other than the owner

Interested individuals can apply online at For more information about the program, visit or contact Eileen Joyce at the local SBA district office at 980-309-9869.

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