Meet Us Monday – Oregon Education Team

Mercy Corps Northwest has proudly served as home to Oregon Women’s Business Center in partnership with the SBA since 2011. In our nearly ten years of operation, we’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs to navigate the journey to small business ownership.

Our team is continuing to expand and grow in order to support small business owners through COVID-19 and into the new visions of entrepreneurial success. To stay connected at a safe distance, we’re sharing three profiles to help you get to know our newest teammates: Bobbie Stewart, Greg Charles, and Gabrielle Giscombe.

Meet Bobbie Stewart – Manager of Oregon Women’s Business Center


“This is a picture of me at the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. My friends and I spend the weekend at the beach each year so we can attend the festival. We also wear similar outfits and the photographer for the event always finds our group to add to the after event online photos. As for getting to know me, I’m a single mom of a 22-year-old young male. I went back to school during the 2008-09 recession and completed a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Finance and Entrepreneurship in 2013. The reason I wanted to get a minor in Entrepreneurship was so people would take me seriously. I love working with startups and small businesses, because creating your own business allows you to express yourself through hard work, passion and unrelenting determination.”

What is a fun fact (or two) about you?

I love throwing themed or decorative parties on my front porch. I enjoy making my guests feel special and giving them an evening of laughter, joy and friendship in a beautiful setting.

Why do you support small businesses?

I support small business because I’m a small business owner and serial entrepreneur. I have been fortunate enough to have a front-row seat on how difficult it is to launch a business. I feel I can add value to the entrepreneurial journey and the people who want to explore this meaningful way of life.

 

Meet Greg Charles – Curriculum Specialist


“I studied international relations as an undergraduate and development banking in grad school and planned to go into international development.  Instead, I have spent much of my career working with small businesses in the U.S. primarily in the area of financial management.  For the past 18 years I’ve been involved in business education including finance, economics, accounting, and small business management.  Over the years I have been able to combine my studies in international development and experience providing business education by delivering training on econometric analysis to employees of the World Bank and United Nations.  In addition to working in the Oregon Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest, I teach in Mercy Corps’ Prison and Reentry Services Program and hold adjunct faculty appointments at Portland Community College and Oregon Coast Community College. I live in Hillsboro with my wife and 2 teenage daughters.”

What is a fun fact (or two) about you?

I was born on a farm in Ohio, but grew up mostly in Hawaii. We planned to go for a year, but stayed for 10. My wife volunteers with an animal rescue organization, so we always have a house full of pets. We currently have 3 dogs, 4 cats, and a free-roaming bunny.

Why do you support small businesses?

I grew up in a small business household and was raised to value their significant contribution to society. Our discussions around the dinner table involved all kinds of issues related to the challenges of running a small business. I put myself through grad school working as a small business accountant and quickly became hooked on the daily challenges I encountered.

What are your consulting specialties? 

Small Business Management, Finance, Economics, and Accounting

Meet Gabrielle Giscombe – Small Business Financing Advisor


“I obtained my Masters of Business Administration from Willamette University, and have a B.A. in International Business from the University of North Florida. I’m passionate about passion working with minority business owners and those from underserved communities to provide education and counseling on financing opportunities. Since 2015, I have worked within Fortune 500 companies, in business banking and credit underwriting roles. I also consult with small non-profit organizations on the side. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, dining out at new restaurants on the east side, exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest, planning my next international trip, and spending time with my family and friends.”

What is a fun fact (or two) about you?

I love making homemade salsa and enjoy practicing the art of calligraphy.

Why do you support small businesses?

I support small businesses because they are the soul of our communities. I grew up in a family of small business owners. Having the opportunity to work hard and support your family through your business is what ultimately grows our community and helps many generations.

What are your consulting specialties? 

Minority Business Support, Finance, General Business Consulting

To learn more about the Oregon Women’s Business Center visit our page or find a full list of teammates here.

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