Small Business Leadership Academy at Thunderbird School of Global Management

Small Business Leadership Academy

September 2 - October 14, 2020 | Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

This will be a LIVE virtual evening program.

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Small businesses play a key role in boosting our economy, creating jobs and positively impacting the community. Indeed, the world runs on small business. And while these companies play a significant part in the marketplace, they can face challenges larger businesses may not. 

Established in 2008 in partnership with Salt River Project, the SBLA program is tailored to the unique needs of small businesses. Designed to accommodate the busy schedules of business owners, it delivers the skills you need to stay competitive and propel your business forward. Since its inception, more than 130 small businesses have participated in the SBLA. 

Through the SBLA, you will: 
» Learn to anticipate and overcome the business challenges of today and tomorrow
» Enhance your business acumen
» Broaden your perspective
» Strengthen your leadership skills
» Stay competitive and propel your business forward

Program Elements

  • Scholarship-based program to remove the costs for the small business participants
  • Participant Scholarship contributions are tax deductible for the sponsoring businesses
  • 9-week virtual evening program comprised of one 3-hour session per week. Session led by a blend of faculty and local industry partners
  • Sessions focused on building your leadership toolkit with topics including strategy, services innovation, leading people, leading organizational processes and an elective track led by our industry partners to provide lessons from the trenches



Join a select group of fellow small business leaders in a transformative learning experience to:

» Gain tangible tools to add to your toolbox
» Prototype a solution to a challenge you are having in your business
» Extend your network and exchange knowledge with high-value peers, colleagues, and facilitators
» Draw on best practices and experience from numerous industries
» Discover additional resources for continuing support

SBLA Program Schedule

Registration Requirements

» As a self-funded participant, you will need to pay the $2,000 program fee
» Be willing and able to attend all scheduled classes
» Own at least 50% of an established (past start-up phase) business that’s been in business for a minimum of 3 years
» Have annual revenue between $500,000 and $10 million
» Have fewer than 100 employees

Application deadline is August 17, 2020



If your organization has initiatives focused on small business or diversity, you can meet your goals — and those of a deserving small business leader — by funding an SBLA scholarship. Contributions are tax-deductible.


Participant Scholarship - $2,000 per participant
Benefits include:

  • Hand-select scholarship recipient who meets application requirements
  • Have your company logo included in digital collateral



Thunderbird Executive Education
1-800-457-6959 US | +1 (602) 496-7053