The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank.

The 2011 SBLA program kicked off on Wednesday (August 31) night with an opening reception at the University Club on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. More than four dozen people, including several of the programs professors and administrators, sponsors and alumni celebrated the incoming class.

The alumni present spoke overwhelmingly about the benefits of going through SBLA. Many felt that SBLA had had a direct impact on the growth of their business. The alumni community continues to meet every two months, focusing on solving issues that many small businesses in the Valley face. The network is an on-going benefit to participation in SBLA.

Now entering its fourth year, the 2011 Small Business Leadership Academy program covers topics as varied as:

Business Strategy:

This course focuses on concepts of strategy and competitive advantage and how to achieve them.

Competing through Services:

This course asks students to examine the factors necessary for innovation and competitive success.


This course seeks to help students understand the principles, philosophies and value of an effective purchasing management process.


This course teaches skills and tactics to add value to business relationships.

Building High-Performance Teams:

The capstone course of SBLA focuses on techniques for building a high-performing team of people in an organization.

Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.