SBA Graduates 2018 Emerging Leaders

SBA Graduates 2018 Emerging Leaders Class in Charlotte
Entrepreneurial Training Initiative puts Small Business Owners through the Paces

Columbia, SC – For Karen R. Jenkins and 13 Charlotte area small business owners, who were selected to participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program in April, the hard part was over as of Tuesday, November 6th.

After spending eight months and logging in a combination of 100 hours of work and evening class time, the North Carolina SBA is graduating its fourth class of Emerging Leaders. The Charlotte Emerging Leaders class of 2018 participated in an intensive executive-level entrepreneurship training program for small business owners in over 50 cities and communities across the country.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2018,” said SBA North Carolina District Director Lynn Douthett, who delivered remarks at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday morning at Central Piedmont Community College where the program took place. “The caliber of each individual was evident through their commitment and willingness to improve their businesses.”

Karen R. Jenkins, owner of KRJ Consulting, LLC from Columbia, SC is one of the 2018 graduates. KRJ Consulting provides workforce development, consulting and staff augmentation services.

“The Charlotte SBA Emerging Leaders has been a phenomenal and worthwhile experience. It came at a time when I needed guidance in leveraging the growth of my business,” said Karen. “The lessons learned, connections made and the overall support is invaluable for my businesses. My vision is to one-day see this program offered in Columbia, SC, where there are so many small businesses that can benefit from this program.

According to SBA’s North Carolina Program Manager of Emerging Leaders Eileen Joyce, participants had to have annual revenues of at least $400,000; have been in business for at least 3 years; and have at least one employee, other than self in order to participate in the program.

“It has been an honor to have the opportunity to create an environment that facilitated learning and insights for a dynamic group of participants in the 2018 Charlotte Emerging Leaders Program,” said Brenda Anderson, Charlotte Emerging Leader instructor. “The 2018 graduates demonstrated commitment, collaboration and compassion for each other’s growth and now are becoming a part of a network of business leaders poised to make a difference and an economic impact in the region!”

Since 2008, the Emerging Leaders initiative has trained over 4,000 promising small business owners in under served communities and continues to expand its impact of helping small businesses grow and create jobs.

For additional information about the Emerging Leaders program, contact Eileen Joyce of the SBA North Carolina District Office at (704) 344-6787 or by e-mail at


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