LED seeking participants for business roundtables

BATON ROUGE, La. — Recruitment has opened for Louisiana Economic Development’s SEBD Roundtables for small business owners participating in Louisiana’s 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.

Business owners taking part in SEBD Roundtables meet 10 times throughout the year to share best practices, solve business challenges and discover solutions in a supportive environment. Companies must be certified through LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program to participate.

“Our Small and Emerging Business Development Program offers valuable managerial and technical assistance for Louisiana small businesses,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “With the SEBD Roundtables, business executives can improve their leadership skills and better understand the challenges that come with running a business. We consider the SEBD Roundtables an effective platform for developing solutions and sharing best practices, which helps our small and emerging businesses reach the next level of success.”

Business leaders 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.

“The SEBD Roundtable taught me how to be more creative, to know my worth, to stay focused on the importance of being a business owner and how to redirect a bad situation into a workable environment,” said owner Leroy Hayward Jr. of Dr. HVAC in Baton Rouge. “It also gave me a confidence to venture out in to the unknown with the knowledge that I received at the table. We shared our issues and we were able to solve them through our discussions.”

“The LED SEBD Roundtables were instrumental in sharpening my decision-making skills and guiding me through processes that I needed to make my business successful,” said CEO Lisa Williams of Solomon North HomeCare in New Orleans. “Also, I was afforded the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded business owners.”

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
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans, and Bayou Region – New Orleans
Microbusiness Enterprise Corp. 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 – Southern University, Baton Rouge
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
Businesses interested in joining the next SEBD Roundtables should contact the nearest SEBD Intermediary for details 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.