This new year brings a new Small Business Management Cohort to the Portland Community College Small Business Development Center. This training helps local entrepreneurs take their small businesses to the next level.
A collaboration between the Portland Business Alliance and PCC SBDC, with further support in scholarships from the Bank of America, the 2022 cohort includes 22 small businesses that will participate in a comprehensive 10-month business development training course.
On December 14, the PBA and PCC announced the 22 members of this year’s cohort, of which the PBA said is 50% minority-owned and 64% women-owned.
PCC SBDC director Tammy Marquez-Oldham said in a statement, “This course brings together the best features of a small business learning environment, real-life experience and knowledge from subject matter experts as instructors, business advising concurrently, and a cohort of individuals sharing ideas, resources and information.”
According to the PBA, the course is intended to support experienced business owners in increasing revenue, improving operations and recruiting talent. It is designed for small business owners who want to sell products or services outside of the Portland metro area, have been in business for more than two years, have at least one employee, and intend to grow. This year’s program will cover marketing, financial management and exploring new markets, as well as sourcing capital and financing.
“Participants in the program run successful businesses but have some gaps in their knowledge around some aspect of business,” said Sean Harry, senior advisor and instructor with the SBDC, in a statement. “They are the experts at what they do but need additional help in building their business around their expertise. The program provides them with a 360-degree approach to business and helps them fill in those gaps so they can be more successful.”
One Portland-based SBDC graduate, Leo Ochoa, is the founder of Dorsumtech, a back pain and posture exo-spine product company.
“The biggest growth I’ve experienced during the Advanced SBM Program has been on changing my mindset from a startup founder to a small business owner,” Ochoa said in a statement. “Learning to shift my mindset from operating like a technician to a manager to an entrepreneur has tremendous value in how I operate my business now.”
The PBA, with help from program partner Bank of America, awarded scholarships of $1,300 toward the $1,800 course fee to make the program more accessible. Every participant was also given a two-year small business level PBA membership.
Art Avitia, Bank of America senior relationship manager and PBA board member, said in a statement that small business is a tremendous economic engine in Portland.
“As long-time supporters of PCC’s SBDC, we applaud the selection of the most diverse cohort of participants yet, and we will continue to work together to make sure that our region’s economic recovery and growth is equitable and open to diverse entrepreneurs and business owners,” Avitia said. “That starts with ensuring more access to these critical business development programs and the resources small business owners need.”
Learn more about the PCC SBDC 2022 small business management cohort online.
The 2022 Cohort
There are 22 local small businesses, including many owned by minority- and women-identifying entrepreneurs, participating in the Portland Community College Small Business Development Center’s 2022 small business management cohort.
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