ONLINE - Business Foundations I On-Demand | Self Paced | beginning July 5

Woman coaches two entrepreneurs at event

Is business ownership for you?

Business Foundations I On-Demand takes you along the small business journey – giving you the necessary tools to move past the idea stage and into ownership. In this course, you will discover the potential of your venture and explore what it takes to start an operation.

This digital course offers the same curriculum as our regular Business Foundations 1 class, with the added convenience of self-paced and self-directed learning alongside a cohort of classmates. Our staff will be available to answer questions through seamless email conversations to ensure you get the same support as you would through a live course. 

How it works

Once you register for the class, our team will give you access to Business Foundations 1 learning modules on our RISE platform where you will have 8 weeks to complete the class.  

Every module concludes with a quiz to ensure you retain and understand the key concepts of every lesson. While you must receive 80% or higher to move on to the next module, you may retake each quiz as many times as you need to master business concepts. Attempts are not graded, and have no impact on course completion. 

Topics Covered

The eight-lesson series provides insight, tools and guidance on the following: 

  • Starting a Business: Learn about the different business structures, how to register your business, developing a business plan, and how to track your spending. 
  • Identifying your target customer: Understanding market research, your target market and competition, pricing strategy & free market research tools
  • Your UVP: Develop your Unique Value Proposition and competition analysis
  • Modern Marketing: Continue to understand market research, your target market and competition, marketing strategy and tools. 
  • Your Business Expenses, Developing a Profit Model, + Financing your Business: Learn the importance of the Profit + Loss statement, how to track business expenses, overhead and operational costs, creating a path to profit, and means to finance your business
  • Registration, Licenses, & Taxes: Learn about the different business structures, how to register your business, and the tax obligations you’ll have as a business owner. Here you will find all the tools and knowledge to turn your idea into a registered business. 

By the end of this course, all students should have a better understanding of deciding whether or not they are ready to start a business in addition to a marketing, financial, and operational toolkit

Scholarship applications must be submitted a week (7 days) before the beginning of class. If you intend to use a scholarship for this program, please apply here. All attendees using a scholarship must wait to register until their scholarship application has been approved either by phone or email after it is submitted. 

Small Business Loan program

Good news! Completion of business training prequalifies you for a $1,500 loan. Please note: This class may qualify you for the IDA grant program outside of Mercy Corps Northwest. Our organization is not enrolling new IDA members. To find an IDA provider, visit

Registration policy

  • Registration closes June 1st at 8:00AM PST. Once the course registration is closed, you will need to wait for the next offering in order to register. We cannot accommodate late registrations.
  • Clients must complete all sections of the prompted questionnaire to successfully register for each course. If you do not complete the entire questionnaire, your spot will not be reserved. If you need assistance registering, please contact Training
  • To cancel your registration please submit a request to Training one week (7 days) prior to class start date.

For Refunds and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit  Oregon Women’s Business Center Classes & Events Frequently Asked Questions

This event is proudly hosted by Oregon Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest, funded in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Event registration

Do you reside in a rural part of the state of Oregon?
Rural is defined as cities with less than 30,000 people or living outside the following areas: Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Medford, Portland Metro Area, Salem/Keizer, or Springfield. 

If you heard about this program from another organization or source not listed, please specify. 

Business information

Max length: 500 characters
Is your business registered with the Secretary of State?

For Washington-based businesses, is it registered with the Department of Revenue?

What is your business registered as legally?

What kind of business did you register?

What phase is your business in?

Existing businesses

Okay to estimate.
What is your business ownership percentage?
What industry is your business in?
Do you work full time or part time at your business?
Is your business based out of your home?
Do you conduct business online?

Answer 'yes' if you do sales of any kind online.

Not including yourself, does your business have any employees?
Currently, what is your highest priority business goal?

Demographic information

At Mercy Corps Northwest we encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply for our programs. 

The following information will remain anonymous and confidential. We aggregate data to report trends and analyze performance, but there is no personal data associated with these reports. Your answers will not impact your ability to participate in MCNW services.
What pronouns do you use?
What pronouns do you use?
Are you employed part time or full time by someone else (meaning outside your business)?
Do you consider yourself an economically disadvantaged individual (per the definition below)?
Economically disadvantaged individuals are individuals who have experienced difficulties in competing in the business world because of their identity as members of a specific group. It could also be because of their financial situation. 

These groups could be, but are not limited to, racial, ethnic, gender, or disability groups. 
Do you speak a language other than English at home?
Which language do you speak at home?
Household definition: all individuals who share the space they use for eating and living together and share financial dependency. Include yourself.
Household income: refers to annual gross income for all adult members of the household.

Household income includes monthly gross salary or wages, self-employment income (owner’s draw), general assistance (food stamps, SNAP, TANF), SSI or SSDI (Social Security Benefits), unemployment compensation (UI, COVID or PUA), retirement income (Pension/401ks/Annuities/IRAs), investment income, child support/alimony, dependent benefits.
Do you identify as LGBTQ+?
Have you ever been incarcerated?
All individuals are eligible to participate, regardless of their level of involvement with the justice system.
Are you a member of a federally recognized tribe?
Because Mercy Corps Northwest is a federally-funded non-profit, we are required to report the following demographic information for our small business clients. Thank you for taking the time to complete the following questions.
Are you Hispanic?
Race/Ethnicity (Check all that apply)
Do you live with a disability?
Mercy Corps Northwest Smart Advice Newsletter
Would you like to receive twice monthly email updates about upcoming classes & events and community resources? 
U.S. Small Business Administration Permissions Policy
I request business consulting or training services from the SBA or an SBA resource partner.  I agree to cooperate should I be selected to participate in a short survey designed to evaluate SBA services. 
If you have a discount code enter here. 
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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration