Oregon small business education

Three people sit at a desk during a business class

Explore our classes and trainings

Our seminars are offered to fit differing needs, with classes from several hours to several-week. We welcome people of all gender identities to register for our classes.

One-time classes

We regularly hold seminars that provide a deeper look at a specific topic. Each week, presenters lead sessions on a wide variety of subjects including business strategy, marketing, small business taxes, financial literacy, web development, human resources, and access to capital. Anyone looking for business support can register and attend these offerings. 

Multi-week classes

Our popular multi-week seminars offer extended business support for growing and expanding enterprises. These courses work with entrepreneurs at each stage of their business journey to tackle challenges, plan for the future, and grow successful companies.

  • Business Foundations I: This essential six-week course covers the necessary basics for launching a small business. Topics covered include marketing, cash flow operations, business registration, credit and many other essential things to know to succeed in the first year of business. Our interactive format empowers students to apply concepts learned in class directly to their business.
  • Business Plan Workshop:  Over the course of four weeks, you’ll take your business plan from draft to completion with the help of an instructor and a small group of peer entrepreneurs. As a hands-on workshop, students are required to bring a digital or print version of their business plan to work on in class. All attendees  receive a basic template prior to class to make sure they are set to go.  This course is best suited for individuals who have completed Business Foundations I and requires 3-4 hours of homework each week to research, write and refine your business plan.
  • Rebuilding Your Foundations: This class is designed for business owners who pivoted business operations and suffered losses in revenue and customers during COVID-19 closures. The class helps entrepreneurs understand opportunities to rebuild, strategies for pivoting operations, and a plan for next steps. Attendees receive support, guidance and clarity to help them adapt and rebuild their business stronger. This five-week course is best suited for individuals whose business was established by December 2019 and not intended for startups.  

One-on-one consulting

Every month, we bring experts from different key business fields to offer one-on-one advice to small business owners. Consulting sessions are prioritized for entrepreneurs who have previously completed a Business Foundations course and those with an active loan at Mercy Corps Northwest.


Start your education journey

Explore the classes that meet your needs below.

Consulting

Register for a one-on-one consulting session for small business owners.

One-time class

Explore and register for upcoming classes on a variety of subjects.

Multi-day class

Get extended support for growing and expanding your enterprise.


Other helpful resources

Still looking for support? These resources can help you get started. 

Orientation

Each month we hold an orientation that reviews all of our Oregon and Vancouver-based programming. We welcome anyone to register for this event, free of charge, to help you get started on the right path. 

Scholarships

We offer income-based scholarships for individuals with limited financial resources. Submit an application before registering for class and save up to 50 percent on tuition.

 


Attend a business services orientation.
See if you qualify for a scholarship.

In 1988, the SBA established The Women’s Business Center Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today there are Women’s Business Centers in almost every state. Mercy Corps Northwest is proud to host the only Women’s Business Center in the state of Oregon, located in Portland. The Oregon Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).