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Our business mentoring program teaches small-business owners important skills and resources to help their companies succeed. Advisers share their experiences with an eye toward promoting economic health and stability within the Phoenix metropolitan area.
 
about our program

The APS Academy for the Advancement of Small, Minority- and Women-Owned Enterprises (AAAME) is a business mentoring program designed, sponsored and administered by Arizona Public Service.

Since 1997, over 200 small businesses in the Phoenix metropolitan area have attended business training classes, built networks, developed resources and met with individual advisors all geared toward assisting them in reaching their next level of business success.

 

​This focused and integrated mentoring has resulted in over 200 AAAME graduates currently in some phase of the AAAME process. All of these businesses have gained knowledge, support, insight, resources and skills that have allowed them to succeed and thrive in their chosen business.

Many of the AAAME companies have increased their revenues and net profits, increased their workforce, strengthened their market position and increased their business space which adds to the economic impact to the area. In addition, several AAAME companies have been recognized for their achievements through various award programs.

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2014 AAAME date information
  • June 30, 2014 - Applications due
  • July - August 2014 - Interviews conducted
  • September 2014 - Program participants selected/announced, program pre-work begins
  • September 2014 - Program begins. Two 8 hour sessions a month for 9 months
Sessions are held at the AAAME office on the 16th floor of 400 N 5 St., Phoenix.
eligibility

Participants must be a certified or certifiable diverse business enterprise. A diverse business enterprise is a company that is at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual whose business is defined as: Minority Business Enterprises, Woman Business Enterprise, or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. Eligible participants must provide a product or service that a utility can reasonably be expected to utilize. Ideally the participant will be the majority business owner or significant decision maker of the business.

The only cost is the time commitment of the participants. We require 80-90 percent attendance for all participants.

what you should know
APS is seeking applicants who provide a service or product to the utility industry. Business owners who quality as certified minority, certified woman owned and Services Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business will receive mentoring and training in the 3 major areas:
 
  • Utility Specific Skills and Tools
  • Business Growth Tools
  • Strategic Planning Tools
contact information


what is AAAME?
AAAME is a training and mentoring program designed to develop sustainable electric utility focused suppliers. This 9-month program will utilize a unique combination of practical and proven business growth tools, innovative strategic growth tools with a customized mentoring component. There will be an emphasis on developing utility-specific skills and tools needed to succeed in the utility industry.


mission
The AAAME mission is to support the successful growth of small, minority- and women-owned enterprises in order to enhance economic health and stability within the region.


qualifications
Participants must be a certified or certifiable diverse business enterprise. A diverse business enterprise is a company that is at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual whose business is defined as: Minority Business Enterprises, Woman Business Enterprise, or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Eligible participants must provide a product or service that a utility can reasonably be expected to utilize.


participation
Ideally, the participant will be the majority business owner or significant decision maker of the business. If there are two partners, it is recommended that both partners attend and participate. This may vary based on the specifics of each company.


the process
AAAME begins a new class once a year, with applications due by the end of June. After the initial review of the applications, interviews are conducted in July. The selected companies will begin classes in September. The classes will be 8 hours long and will be held at least twice a month at the AAAME office.


applications
Applications are accepted between March and June annually, with all applications due by the last Friday of June of each year.


additional material requests
AAAME requests a variety of information so that our selection panel can make an assessment of where the applicant is in its business cycle. This information is kept confidential, no copies are made, and all applications are shredded after the selection process. This information is helpful in making the assessment as to whether the resources of AAAME are a good match for the needs of the applicant.


class size
Each year, AAAME creates a group based on the number of qualified applications received and needs of the qualified applicant pool. We have a target of 6 – 10 companies each year.


attendance
It is recommended that the AAAME participants attend as many meetings as possible to maximize the AAAME process and resources. We require 80%-90% attendance for all participants.
costs
There is no fee for participation in AAAME. However, we do require a commitment of time on the part of our participants.