The Business Outreach Program at Portland State’s School of Business Receives $570,000 Investment from Prosper Portland
Author: Jenna Cooper, The School of Business
Posted: June 27, 2017

Portland State University Joins New Small Business Technical Assistance Partnership

BOP clients with BOP Business Advisor pictured from left to right: Nancy Somvong, owner of Paitong Thai Cuisine, Khadro Abdi, owner of Alleamin Products, LLC, Liz Feldman, BOP Business Advisor, and Wondwossen Desta, owner of Olympia Medical Transportation, LLC.

The Portland State University Business Outreach Program (BOP) recently received a $570,000 investment from Prosper Portland, formerly the Portland Development Commission, to partner with other local agencies and assist small businesses. The Business Outreach Program at The School of Business, has provided management assistance to emerging businesses in Portland for more than two decades. 

“We are honored to grow our capacity through a continued partnership with Prosper Portland and excited to serve a greater number of underserved individuals in their journey towards successful small business ownership,” said Lara Damon, PSU Business Outreach Program Executive Director.

The Prosper Portland funds

$2.5 million in total funds was divided between 10 other local agencies now providing services under the Small Business Technical Assistance Partnership (SBTAP). The BOP received investment in three funding areas: startup and business growth, small business advising, and business support for division transit projects. 

The Prosper Portland SBTAP initiative seeks to leverage greater impact for programs already supporting diverse entrepreneurs, in order to change the resource landscape for underrepresented business owners. The partnership is dedicated to achieving several goals by 2020, focused primarily on boosting the success of 1,000 women and minority entrepreneurs, as well as helping businesses hit growth milestones, and preparing startups to launch.

These values closely align with the work of the BOP, which over the last year supported clients representing 75 percent woman-owned businesses, 65 percent minority-owned businesses, as well as 98 percent low-to-moderate income individuals.  

“This partnership has and will continue to demonstrate great economic impacts for helping entrepreneurs sustain and grow. PSU BOP’s presence in east Portland will be enhanced and BOP professional services and PSU School of Business student consulting support will expand,” said Damon.

Business Development Workshop Series

The Business Outreach Program kicked off their most recent Business Development Workshop Series last week, running June 13 through July 18. Interested applicants complete an online inquiry questionnaire to initiate registration. The five-session series is taught by a PSU BOP business advisor, and is a great opportunity to join other current and aspiring business owners to discuss challenges, exchange ideas, and learn new tools for growing your business.