Applications Open for Small Business Leadership Development Opportunity

Selfie of two TCC students in class

The program is designed to enhance the capabilities of area small businesses funded by Cox and will include sessions on cash management, digital marketing, negotiation skills, and management.

Small business owners who want to increase revenue or enhance their management skills can apply for the Cox Small Business Leadership Academy, a free, 10-week leadership development and continuing education program. The deadline to apply is Sunday, July 30.

The program is delivered through Tulsa Community College Continuing Education with Cox underwriting the full cost for those selected to participate. The Cox Small Business Leadership Academy is designed for all small business owners and leaders, but with a special emphasis to empower businesses owned or led by minorities, veterans, women, Native Americans, and individuals with disabilities.

"The 10-week academy encouraged us to look at how we managed our business from top to bottom to work more efficiently,” said Tabitha D. Tate, who along with business partner, Isom E. Hill, owns Royal Blue Hill Heat and Air, Inc.

They were selected and took part in the first Cox Small Business Leadership Academy, launched in 2022.

“Each week, my business partner and I continued class discussions outside of class to help create lasting positive changes in our business,” said Hill. “Some areas we saw a significant difference were in our organizational, finance, and our approach to collaborations with other small businesses in the Tulsa area to grow our business.”

During the 10-week academy, participants will learn core skills related to business management and sustainability topics including accounting, marketing, supply chain, organizational performance, and project management.

“TCC stands ready to support workforce development for our corporate and community partners as it is critical to our mission of building success through education,” said Pete Selden, VP of Workforce Development. “When Cox Communications approached us and wanted to collaborate, we understood this program could build stronger small businesses for the region.”

Through the Cox Supplier Diversity Program, the primary goal of the program is to increase the pool of diverse suppliers in the Tulsa metro area by empowering, developing, and growing those businesses.

“With a resounding commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity, we are excited to fund a program that will enhance the success of small businesses in Tulsa,” said Roger Ramseyer, Tulsa Market Vice President for Cox Communications. “Building upon the success of the inaugural class last year, the 2023 Small Business Leadership Academy is certain to enhance the success of the participants’ businesses, while also strengthening our own supply chain and accelerating the growth of diverse suppliers in northeast Oklahoma.”

The Fall 2023 Cox Small Business Leadership Academy will meet in-person from 6 - 9 p.m., every Tuesday, beginning August 22 through Oct. 24 at the TCC Metro Campus in downtown Tulsa. Upon completing the program, participants will receive a certificate and three continuing education units. Participants are expected to attend a majority of the Tuesday evening sessions in order to benefit from the classroom instruction and earn the continuing education credits.

Interested small business owners and leaders should complete the short application by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 30 at Enrollment is limited to 20 participants. Cox will select the finalists from the pool of applicants following the application deadline, after which applicants will be notified of acceptance by August 8.