Applications being accepted for LED’s small business roundtables

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Economic Development is growing its Small and Emerging Business Development Program by expanding its statewide network of SEBD Roundtables this summer. New sessions for roundtables will begin in the coming weeks, with business owners meeting 10 times throughout the year to share business challenges and discover solutions in a safe environment.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-19 session of the innovative, peer-to-peer learning program. Participants are selected from Louisiana companies that have been certified by LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program.

“The SEBD Program offers a collaborative learning experience to encourage a group of new, talented and emerging entrepreneurs to build stronger, healthier small businesses throughout Louisiana,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “The Roundtables program introduces our developing business leaders to a fresh pair of eyes when it comes to different challenges and issues that arise when running a company. We strive to maintain a thriving small business community in Louisiana, and what better way to execute that than to give small businesses these proven tools and peer-to-peer knowledge to grow and sustain themselves.”

Each SEBD Roundtable brings together 10 to 15 business leaders of small and emerging businesses for a yearlong experience of open dialogue and problem solving. The dialogue allows businesses of all kinds to share their challenges and learn from the experiences of one another.

The Roundtable leadership experience is designed to help small business owners reach better decisions and action plans, affirm what they’re doing right, and identify what needs improvement. Roundtables are one part of a comprehensive SEBD Program that provides managerial and technical assistance to help build, sustain and grow small businesses.

The unique, peer-to-peer learning experience provided by SEBD Roundtables is based on the PeerSpectives™ Roundtable System, which was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation and is used around the country. LED is licensed by the Edward Lowe Foundation to use the PeerSpectives Roundtable System for SEBD Roundtables. Louisiana service-providers have been certified through this program to ensure roundtables deliver a consistent experience in the small business community.

In collaboration with SEBD Intermediaries — who comprise a network of LED’s managerial and technical assistance providers — the SEBD Roundtables are offered in multiple locations throughout Louisiana.

The NWLA location is the Business and Community Development Center at Southern University Shreveport. The northeast location is the Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Any SEBD Intermediary may be contacted now about enrollment for the upcoming SEBD Roundtables. For more information on the application process, contact Stephanie Hartman, LED Small Business Services manager, at stephanie.hartman@la.gov or 225.342.5677; or contact Tatiana Bruce, lead Business Development officer, at tatiana.bruce@la.gov or 225.342.5663.