President Trump’s Donation to the SBA

I saw on the news today that President Donald Trump is donating his Q2 salary to the Small Business Administration program to help with a new program developed by the SBA to help US military veterans transition from their careers in the military into becoming business owners. The SBA program for vets is called “Merging Leaders.” The acceptance of the President Trump’s Q2 salary check made by Linda McMahon recently during a White House Press Conference referenced the new program.

I’ve never heard of the Emerging Leaders program, so I did a little research to see what it’s about. McMahon mentioned the new the Merging Leaders program is a 7-month adaptation of the Emerging Leaders program that is specifically designed to help military veterans “transition from military life into private sector if they desire to start their own jobs and their own companies to be entrepreneurs.”

SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders program has some aggressive requirements for participants. Their participation requirements seem like they’re designed to ensure that the resources made available by the SBA through the program are not wasted on people who are not serious business owners. To be accepted into the Emerging Leaders program, participants have to have at least one employee (other than themselves). They have to have been in business for at least 3 years. The most stringent requirement for participating is $400,000 in annual revenues, a number that is difficult to reach for a good portion of small businesses.

The SBA Emerging Leaders program seems to be designed to take proven businesspeople and help them develop the skills to expand and already-promising enterprise. Especially since the program is free, I’d guess that the government-sponsored business program doesn’t want to waste time and resources on tire kickers. It seems like almost everyone has an idea or wants to be an entrepreneur, but the filters applied to the SBA Emerging Leaders initiative feel like they exist to sort out wanna-be’s from people who have demonstrated enough business devotion to have a successful business, but who simply need help to get to the next level.

Signing up for these Emerging Leaders courses is as simple as filling out the online application, or visiting your local SBA district office. The program is taught at SBA locations in most major cities in the United States as well as in Puerto Rico.

SBA “Merging Leaders” Program

The SBA Merging Leaders program sounds like it differs from the Emerging Leaders program in that participants need only be military veterans. Using the term “merging” for the new name implies that it’s a way tomilitary veterans help transition (or “merge”) into a productive civil life after their time with the military has finished. The business history required for participation in the Emerging Leaders program is not required for the Merging Leaders program. The filtering requirements used for Emerging Leaders are likely replaced with the understanding that military vets possess the determination to make use of a similar type of training that is adapted to people who have military experience, but who might lack experience in the business world.

Details about the Merging Leaders program have not been made available publicly, but vets who are interested in participating should be able to find out more information, including when exactly the program will be made available, by contacting their local SBA offices.