News & Announcements

Centers Partner with Emerging Entrepreneurs Program 2017

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The Presidents’ Council in conjunction with Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business Centers for Outreach and Engagement is excited to announce the 2017 Emerging Entrepreneurs Program is now accepting applications for its 15th class of African-American entrepreneurs.

Since its inception in 2001, the Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, designed to assist African-American small business owners, whose companies have the potential for high growth and to move beyond the emerging phases to become vibrant, thriving businesses as leaders and investors in their own success, has impacted over 150 African-American business owners in Cuyahoga County with 80% still in business today.

The Emerging Entrepreneurs (EE) Program takes selected participants through a 14-week in-depth business development curriculum facilitated and designed by subject matter/industry experts as well as provides tools, access to resources and networks to enhance economic growth in Northeast Ohio by strengthening the business success of African-American business owners and addressing unique challenges faced by African-American entrepreneurs.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Be African-American
  • Company at least 51% African-American owned
  • Established in business at least 2 years
  • Have high growth potential
  • Company revenues of at least $50,000/year

With support from the Centers, EE Program participants will have access to a full complement of wraparound services that include dedicated MBA, CPA, CFA staff to assist program participants in the areas of: Accounting & Finance, Business Management, HR & Organizational Management, Sales & Marketing, Information Technology, Leadership, How to Measure Sustainability, How to Effectively Communicate Financials to Potential Investors/Lenders, Tools to Measure/Track Company Growth, Access to Research, Webinars, and Online Courses to Verify Mastery of Understanding. "In business, as in life, if you don't change you don't grow.

"This collaboration between the Monte Ahuja College of Business and The Presidents’ Council fosters growth for all involved," said Dr. Julian M. Earls, Executive in Residence at Monte Ahuja College of Business.

The program kicks off with an orientation on February 17th, 2017. There is then a weekend long, intensive training Febraury 24th - 26th during the College's startup weekend, Startup Vikes. Bi-weekly classes begin March 3rd and will be held on Fridays from 8:00am – 12:00pm at CSU Monte Ahuja College of Business.

Applications are available online at and are due on January 27th, 2017. The cost is $1,000 and includes:

  • 1 Year Standard Presidents' Council Business Chamber Membership upon program completion
  • In-depth instruction from subject matter/industry expert facilitators
  • Onsite parking included
  • Registration to Startup Vikes (February 24th - 26th) included:
    • Weekend intensive for startups and established businesses focused on business modeling, customer development, branding, revenue/financial models, legal, and pitching to investors with a Cash Infusion and Prize Package awarded to the top three business formed from the weekend (Feb. 24th - 26th)
  • Registration to Invitation Only Pre-Business2Business Matchmaker included
    • Half-day intensive designed to engage participants in preparing for the 2016 Cleveland B2B Matchmaker presented by COSE
    • Presentations from COSE and SBA representatives on how to determine your NAICS Code, registering online, how to pitch your company in a short period of time, creating/perfecting elevator speech, how to determine needs of buyers, managing expectations
    • Participation in this pre-event includes registration for the 2016 Cleveland B2B Matchmaker
  • Access to full complement of FREE wraparound services via partnership with CSU Monte Ahuja College of Business’ Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

For more information and statistics, please see the brochure here.