Lawson Introduces First Bill Aimed to Help Small Business Leaders
WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) introduced his first bill in the 115th Congress. The Entrepreneurial Education Act aims to help train emerging leaders who are running businesses in economically disadvantaged communities. The bill would authorize the Entrepreneurial Education Initiative through the Small Business Administration which would provide resources and assistance to entrepreneurs.
The Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training program that specifically focuses on executives of businesses ready to expand operations in historically challenged communities. Executives receive intensive training that provides them with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses, create jobs, and promote economic development within urban communities.
“This bill will help generate new jobs, attract investment, and provide necessary training to our emerging leaders in Florida’s fifth district and around the country so that we can grow our economy where we need it most,” said Rep. Lawson. “This program has already helped more than 4,000 small business owners in sustaining and growing their businesses and I know we can make that number even bigger by helping more people across the country.”
“Entrepreneurial Development programs, including the Emerging Leader’s initiative, can provide powerful tools for fostering small business growth and opportunity in economically challenged areas,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee. “I applaud Mr. Lawson for his leadership in introducing this measure. I look forward to working with him in the Small Business Committee toward the bill’s passage.”
"Congressman Lawson's introduction of the Entrepreneurial Education Initiative is great news for entrepreneurs," said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. "This legislation will help ensure that small business owners in underserved communities have the support they need to launch and grow their businesses. This is a step in the right direction for businesses and local economies."
Over the course of seven months, participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. Recruitment for the Emerging Leaders Initiative occurs on an annual basis, beginning in February and classes typically begin in April. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts.
Government statistics have shown that underserved small businesses are the engines of sustained economic growth and job creation. Small businesses in underserved cities added close to three times as many jobs to their local economies as large companies over the last decade. SBA launched the Initiative to capitalize on this proven capacity for stimulating jobs and growth in America’s cities.