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“This is one of the rare classes where we have a chance to work with a real business owner. It really did change my perspective about entrepreneurship along with real-life problems that small business owners have to face every day. It all inspired me as a student.”
-Phu Sai

Small Business Consulting Practicum

The PSU Business Outreach Program (BOP) Small Business Consulting course aligns with the University’s motto to "Let Knowledge Serve the City," and demonstrates how students and the community can come together to learn and accomplish goals. Students participating in the PSU BOP’s Small Business Consulting course will apply their academic knowledge to a real life small business. All projects are defined by a scope of work to meet the unique business owner’s needs. Projects begin with a needs assessment, followed by research and recommendations and tool development for the entrepreneur to implement.

What This Course offers: 

Next course offered:


Not currently offered.



"The exerience exposed me to the consulting process and gave me a new perspective on small businesses."

- Karl Hurst, PSU Student


  • Dynamic Experience: A combination of lectures, community engagement and in class discussions.
  • Resume Building: Students who take this course are armed with experience and examples to utilize in their career.
  • In-depth consulting project: Student teams of three to four members will work with a local small business to develop a consulting report, including in-depth research and recommendations. Student teams are mentored through this process by the instructor and the client's PSU BOP Business Advisors.
  • Networking Opportunities: Gain the opportunity to work and network with emerging local businesses, community organizations and PSU BOP staff, whom are well connected within the Portland metropolitan area.
  • Work with exciting small businesses in your community: Student teams have worked with clients such as Dig a Pony, Hungry Heart and Cipriano Designs. Check our clients out here.
  • An opportunity to gain practical experience: Apply your knowledge to solve a real-life problem.
  • Contribute to the community: Students have an opportunity to make a
    valuable contribution to a business through their role as a consultant.
Learning Objectives
  1. Learn to analyze small business
  2. Learn to form an action plan to assist small business
  3. Learn to research an industry at both micro and macro levels
  4. Improve assessment, analytical, consulting and communication skills 


BOP Internship Program

The PSU BOP internship program offers students from the The School of Business at Portland State University the opportunity to gain hands on experience as business consultants under the mentorship of PSU BOP staff. Interns are responsible for providing technical assistance, research and consulting services to support the PSU BOP’s entrepreneurial community. As an intern you engage as part of a diverse team framework consisting of the business owner and PSU BOP business advisors and staff. Projects vary based on client needs and the intern’s area of expertise across the fields of marketing, finance, accounting, human resources and general management. Many projects involve research and recommendations to the client, and training the client to ensure implementation of recommendations. 


Minimum Requirements: 

  • PSU undergraduate, post-baccularaute or graduate student pursuing a degree within The School of Business. Preference given to students who have educational and/or professional experience in area of discipline.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in SBA coursework must maintain good academic standing through internship.
  • Superior communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to demonstrate active listening skills.
  • Ability to lead and teach others.
  • Professional demeanor, focused, articulate and well organized.
  • Highly motivated, self-starter.
  • Ability to juggle and prioritize multiple projects.
  • Ability to work independently and perform relevant research.
  • Superior analytical skills.
  • Strong technical writing skills.
  • Ability to travel to Portland businesses to provide on-site counseling.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office.

If you fit these requirements contact us to learn more. We continually accept qualified interns into our program.