Small businesses play a key role in our economic recovery, creating jobs to help get our community back on track. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is offering a program to help small business owners and executives learn how to improve efficiency, streamline operations and raise profits. The fifth annual Small Business Leadership Academy is available to the leaders of small and diverse local businesses.
“We’ve had phenomenal feedback from business owners who attended the academy over the past several years,” said Dawn Feldman, executive director of the W. P. Carey School of Business Center for Executive and Professional Development, which hosts the program. “Classes are held just one night per week, so they fit right into busy executives’ schedules, and they’re taught by top professors from the highly ranked W. P. Carey School. Participants not only take away great business knowledge, but also a new support network of peers that will exist long after the program is over.”
Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding co-sponsor, is offering a number of scholarships to its current suppliers and small business customers.
“The academy offers an outstanding opportunity for small business owners to gain knowledge from highly acclaimed professors and establish lasting relationships with other community small business owners, all in a well-structured academic, but practical environment,” said Carrie Young, senior director, corporate operations services for SRP. “The partnership we have with ASU, coupled with the sponsorship and scholarships we offer to the academy, is a natural fit for SRP in supporting economic development within our own community.”
As part of a larger partnership with ASU focused on small business support, JPMorgan Chase is also joining as a top sponsor, providing 15 scholarships to the academy.
“As Arizona’s number one SBA lender, we know how important small businesses are to our economy,” said Joe Stewart, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase in Arizona. “Entrepreneurs who participate in the Small Business Leadership Academy will get the best of ASU in a format that fits their busy schedules.”
The 10-week academy will run on Wednesday nights from Aug. 29 to Nov. 14. The curriculum will cover business strategy, team-building, negotiations, procurement and competition through service offerings. Program applications are due July 13.
Participants must come from companies that have:
- Been in business for at least three years,
- Annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million,
- Fewer than 100 employees.
Applicants must be able to attend all scheduled classes and related activities. Those who complete the program will receive four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Arizona State University. These units are widely used as a measure of participation in non-credit, professional development courses.
Other sponsors of this year’s program include the Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, U.S. Bank and the Hahnco Companies. These firms are also sponsors of the school’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards, which recognize some of the state’s best businesses. The W. P. Carey School’s Spirit of Enterprise Center helps hundreds of small businesses each year.