JP Morgan Chase has given $40,000 to Portland State University’s Business Outreach Program (BOP), which will help fund its Business Development Support Program, a one-year intensive business support program emphasizing a cohort-learning model. BOP support is offered to low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in the Portland Metro community.
The Business Outreach Program was founded in 1994 and provides consulting and technical support to fledgling Portland businesses in the form of business strategy, marketing, human resources, accounting and other services. The advising is provided by professional business advisors and augmented by PSU students and paid interns. In its 19 years of operation, the program has supported more than 750 businesses and placed more than 1,500 students as consultants.
The grant will help pay for an expansion of current program offerings. The pilot for the Business Development Support Program was launched in February. Due to the generous gift from JP Morgan Chase, the second-year cohort will begin this month.
“We have a greater demand for support from entrepreneurs than we have capacity. This gift will help tremendously in meeting that higher demand, plus allow for more businesses to be supported to continue to help strengthen the Portland small business community,” said Lara Damon, director of the Business Outreach Program in PSU’s School of Business Administration.
The Business Development Support Program will serve 15 businesses per cohort, increasing the number of BOP-supported businesses to approximately 185 per year. It’s designed to help historically under-served markets of entrepreneurs who earn less than median income.