SBDC Entrepreneur Development Series Provides Portland Startup Businesses Tools for Success

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The Small Business Development Center at CLIMB Center for Advancement, Portland Community College launches its third cohort of the Entrepreneur Development Series (EDS) July 8th 2010. EDS supports first-time entrepreneurs between day-one and year-one to succeed by combining a five-month series of small business management classes with ongoing business advising.

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A new group of Portland entrepreneurs and startups will begin their entrepreneurial journey on July 8th 2010, as they step through a series of ten intensive workshops designed to provide the “hard” and “soft” skills of entrepreneurship.

Many entrepreneurs and startup businesses already possess the experience and skills they need to excel in their industry, however they may lack the formal business training to succeed as independent business owners.

“We got concrete examples of how it works, and the tools to make it work”, said Jacob Moorehead, past participant and founder of Connection: A Coaching Practice, LLC. Short of going back to school for an MBA and spending thousands of dollars on tuition, the SBDC Entrepreneur Development Series (EDS) is a fast track program that provides the nuts and bolts of managing a small business including: business planning; forecasting; marketing; sales; and business systems.

Recognizing that there is more to entrepreneurship than business fundamentals, EDS provides a healthy dose of entrepreneurial “soft” skills including Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®; visioning; goal setting; facilitating “crucial” conversations; creative problem solving; and understanding your relationship with money.

One past participant, Dianna Sarto, joined EDS expecting to learn the facts on how to start her business, but was also surprised to discover her confidence. “I was coming from a place of anxiety and discovered that I am totally capable of doing this, now I’m inspired to go bigger.”

EDS comes at a good time to support Portland’s efforts towards economic recovery as Oregon Employment Department data shows Portland’s unemployment rate of 10.3% to be double that of 1990. According to US Labor Department data, self-employment trends upward with increased unemployment as “laid off workers start tiny companies”.

Not only is the timing right for EDS, but according to the City of Portland’s Small Business Advisory Council, 95% of Portland businesses have 50 employees or less making it a Mecca for entrepreneurship and small business.

During the program’s initial year, twenty-four entrepreneurs completed EDS and 80% of the participants have successfully started small businesses in the Portland Metro area.

Initially funded by a 2009 grant from the US Department of Labor, the Entrepreneur Development Series combines 30 classroom hours with 20 hrs of one-on-one business advising where classroom learning is applied to overcome real-world business challenges.

Portland area entrepreneurs and startups that are interested in exploring how the Entrepreneur Development Series fits with their entrepreneurial journey are invited to learn more by visiting http://ow.ly/1ZuXc

This project was funded 100% by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The Small Business Development Center is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Oregon Business Development Department.

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