BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development is expanding its SEBD Roundtables for entrepreneurs in the Small and Emerging Business Development program. Beginning in July and August, the innovative peer-to-peer learning program will convene groups of 12 to 15 business leaders for a yearlong experience of collaborative learning and problem solving. Companies must be certified through LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program to participate.
Applications are now open for the 2020-21session throughout the state. Participating business owners meet 10 times throughout the year to share best practices, solve business challenges and discover solutions in a supportive environment.
“The SEBD Roundtables provide a platform for small and emerging business leaders to improve their leadership skills and tackle the challenges and opportunities that stem from running a business,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “LED takes tremendous pride in supporting the growth and success of small businesses in Louisiana, and the SEBD Roundtables Program is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to reach the next level.”
Business owners benefit by improving their decision-making, determining what they are doing right, and identifying what needs improvement, especially amid the uncertainties of COVID-19. Through roundtable discussions, challenges are addressed by practical assistance that enhances management skills.
“I feel fortunate and privileged to be a part of the SEBD Roundtables, as it is truly unlike any other platform that I have personally been associated with,” said Jamar Lewis, owner of D-UNIT Enterprises and a recent SEBD Roundtables participant. “This group is full of like-minded people who I could relate to on the day-to-day experiences you go through as an entrepreneur.”
SEBD Roundtables are based on the PeerSpectives™ Roundtable System developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation and considered a nationwide best practice. SEBD intermediaries – who deliver technical and managerial assistance through the LED program – are certified to ensure a consistent experience.
Intermediaries now recruiting SEBD Roundtable participants are:
- Business and Community Development Center – Southern University, Shreveport
- City of Alexandria
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans, and Bayou Region – New Orleans
- Microbusiness Enterprise Corporation of Ascension – Gonzales
- Small Business Development and Management Institute – Southern University, New Orleans
- Small Business Development Center – Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond
- Small Business Development Center – University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Small Business Development Center – University of Louisiana at Monroe
- St. John the Baptist Parish in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans, and Bayou Region – New Orleans
- Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development – Lake Charles
- Technology Business Development Center – Louisiana Tech, Ruston
- TruFund Financial Services – Baton Rouge
- Urban League of Louisiana – New Orleans
If you are interested in joining the next SEBD Roundtables, please reach out to your nearest SEBD Intermediary for more information about the process. For more information on eligibility for the SEBD Program and application for SEBD Roundtables, contact Senior Program Manager Tatiana Bruce at Tatiana.Bruce@la.gov or 225.342.5663.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team assisted more than 9,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.