Oregon Women’s Business Center – Small Business Classes


We’re proud to offer a variety of long-term classes that meet a variety of business needs of all businesses, whether they be in start-up or growth stage. Take a look at our Business Foundations I, Business Foundations II and Business Plan Workshops below.

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.

Small business concepts taught in this course include how to…

  • Determine the appropriate legal status for your business.
  • Obtain the correct licenses and permits.
  • Calculate start-up costs, unit of sale, profit margins,  break-even point, and pricing window.
  • Analyze your competition.
  • Identify target markets and create a marketing plan.

As part of the coursework, you will analyze your competition, set pricing, conduct a focus group for your product or service, and build the confidence needed to turn an idea into reality. All classwork and homework can be incorporated into a comprehensive business plan.

Cost:  $225 (partial scholarships available)

Enroll here

Business Foundations II: Next Level Workshop

Our Next Level Business Workshop is designed for owners who are ready to grow their businesses, be more efficient and generate additional revenue. This four-week course provides the focus you need to explore business fundamentals more deeply, specifically as it relates to your day-to-day challenges and opportunities. Students use their own businesses as a case study in this four-week series of action-oriented classes. Classes are half the size of our Business Foundations I classes for more individualized attention and effective hands-on learning.

This workshop is designed for business owners looking for assistance in the following areas:

  • Changing business processes to increase your capacity as both owner and manager
  • Converting sales opportunities into repeat customers
  • Introducing new products or finding a new target market
  • Scheduling your time, and focusing on revenue-generating tasks
  • Defining your sales process and calculating projections
  • Keeping up with demand while expanding strategically
  • Telling customers your story
  • Receiving support from other business owners with similar challenges

Additionally, it’s for business owners who:

  • Have one year of revenue
  • Are willing to commit to four weekly sessions and 3-4 hours of research and business development activities each week
  • Are ready to participate with and support other business owners
  • Are ready to see changes take place in their business

What do our Foundations II graduates have to say?

“Next Level Business Workshops are a perfect chance for the harried small business owner to take a deep breath and focus on breaking down their biggest challenges step by step. The class is very self-guided, almost like a small business therapy session. The questions and evaluations asked in the class require you to get a handle on your details and collect honest information about where you stand in your business and how you’re spending your time and money, what your costs really look like, who your customers are and use that information to set a roadmap for increased success.

If you’re running a business and putting your paperwork on the backburner, or feel like you’re always doing a million things but not getting where you need to be, and you haven’t stopped to thoroughly take stock of what’s happening and how to change course, this workshop is a great opportunity to assess your strengths and weaknesses, and set off in the right direction with new resolve.” – Brian Watson, Sick String Guitar,Portland Custom Shop 1115 SE Morrison, Portland OR 97214

Cost:  $225 (Partial scholarships available)

Enroll here


Business Plan Workshop

Over the course of four weeks, you’ll take your business plan from first 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 either a laptop and/or hard copies of their business plan to work on in class.

Haven’t started? You’ll receive a basic template prior to class to get you going. For those with existing drafts, bring your most recent copy. Expect 3-4 hours of homework per week as you research, write and refine your business plan. This course is best suited for individuals who have completed Business Foundations I.

Cost:  $175 ( partial scholarships  available)

Enroll here


Mercy Corps Northwest hosts the only Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Oregon, funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.