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W. P. Carey School, SRP conduct Small Business Leadership Academy

April 25, 2011

Small businesses can play a key role in helping our economy to get back on track, creating new jobs and contributing to our community. The W. P. Carey School of Business and Salt River Project (SRP) will soon be holding their fourth annual Small Business Leadership Academy, dedicated to educating leaders of small and diverse local businesses about how to grow and make the most of their companies.

“Classes in the academy are all aimed at providing tools to small business leaders to help them make better strategic decisions, improve efficiency, boost teamwork, streamline operations and raise profits,” explains Dawn Feldman, executive director of the W. P. Carey School of Business Center for Executive and Professional Development, which hosts the program. “The academy, taught just one evening per week by top professors from the W. P. Carey School of Business, is convenient for busy executives and has already helped many small Arizona companies take their businesses to the next level.”

The 10-week academy begins on Aug. 31 this year. The curriculum will focus on business strategy, team-building, negotiations, procurement and competition through service offerings. Participants also will build a support network of peers that will remain a resource long after the program is over.

For the first time in the program’s history, scholarships will be made available to the general Arizona small business community. Also, as in past years, SRP is awarding a number of scholarships to its current suppliers and small business customers. SRP applauds the academy, saying it brings real value to the community.

“We see our suppliers as an extension of SRP and our small business customers as an indicator of our economy’s overall health. Supporting the development of our small businesses supports our own growth as a service provider,” says Carrie Young, SRP manager of supply chain. “Partnering with ASU in building a local sustainable business community supports our mission and is a logical pairing to SRP’s core values.”

Applications for this year’s academy are due June 17. Applicants for the program should come from small companies that have:

• Been in business for at least three years,

• Annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million,

• Fewer than 100 employees.

Applicants must be able to attend all scheduled classes and related activities. Those who complete the program will receive four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Arizona State University. These units are widely used as a measure of participation in non-credit, professional development courses.

“The materials and instructors in the program were excellent,” says Steve Lanini, a McDonald’s restaurant franchisee who completed the academy last year. “I thoroughly enjoyed the classes, liked the diversified group and found learning about different businesses to be a major benefit. I would recommend this to other small business owners.”

This year, the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business will provide scholarships to the academy in the name of each of its major award sponsors: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and U.S. Bank. The Spirit of Enterprise Center assists hundreds of small businesses in Arizona each year and is known for recognizing some of the state’s best businesses with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

For more information about sponsoring a scholarship or applying to the program offered through the nationally ranked W. P. Carey School of Business, call (480) 965-8006, e-mail or visit Current SRP vendors can also contact Art Oros, SRP procurement services manager, for information about this year’s SRP scholarships at (602) 236-8773 or