WILLISTON, Vt. — Twenty entrepreneurs throughout Vermont completed a seven-month executive education series Oct. 12 at Vermont Technical College in Williston.
Emerging Leaders is the only federal training specifically tailored for small business executives poised for growth. The free program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.
Allan Rodgers, VTC Professor of Business, provided his students with the organizational structure, resource network, and assistance needed to build a sustainable business of size and scale. Prior to teaching, Rodgers founded and operated Engineered Thermal Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of automotive components.
“A valuable part of the class is networking and interacting with other small business owners that are facing the same challenges that I am. Even though we are in completely different types of businesses, there are a lot of similarities in our struggles,” said Linda Dimmick, owner of Neighborly Farms of Vermont located in Randolph Center.
The members of the class come from nearly every corner of the state and represent various industries including, manufacturing, medical, theater, energy, media and software.
To be considered, each entrepreneur’s business must have annual revenues of $400,000 or more, been in business for at least three years, and have employees.
“This is class is not for startups. The majority of Vermont’s class has annual sales in excess of $1 million. In order to complete the class each student has to create a three-year growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets to hopefully Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Director.turn their $1 million a year company into a $10 million a year company,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Director. Emerging Leaders is funded by the Small Business Administration.
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