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Continuing Education Resources for Small Businesses

Every small business owner can benefit from business education, so taking a few classes to shore up your skills in a particular area is always a good idea. However, business education can be an expensive investment. In the U.S., the average annual tuition for full-time enrollment in a Masters of Business Administration program at a top school was $46,839.00 in 2009, according to “The Economist.”
Below are some of the resources available to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and more. Certainly take advantage of resources that offer FREE or low-cost educational opportunities for your small business!

Business Impact NW

Business Impact NW is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to serving under-banked entrepreneurs. Business Impact NW works together with you, providing the coaching, classes and capital you need to successfully launch and grow your business. Take a look below at some of our educational offerings, for example:

VBOC Smart Start

VBOC Smart Start #6: Business Plan Development

VBOC Smart Start is primarily focused on veteran entrepreneurs that are thinking about starting a small business or already running a small business. Above all, the courses provide free training! However, only two more courses are left in our series on business ownership so sign up soon.

Your Business – Start Smart, Part Six: Business Plan Development

Your Business – Start Smart, Part Seven: Financing your Vet Owned Venture

Virtual Drop–In Business Coaching

Get personal, one-on-one business coaching during a virtual drop-in business coaching session. Just click the link to find the date and time best for your schedule this week: https://calendly.com/dropincalendar

Virtual Launch & Grow

Launch & Grow Your Business is a Washington State SEAP approved course designed to train participants on starting and running their business. Through seven, three-hour sessions participants will learn how to manage, market and finance their business while creating a solid business plan: https://businessimpactnw.org/event/launch-grow-seattle-2/

Virtual Grow & ThriveGrow and Thrive Image

Grow & Thrive is a structured mentor program with expert guidance & advice so it is perfect for any business owner who wants to take their business to the next level. Participants will develop a strategic plan with defined objectives with 3-5 year targets. They will work with their current financial statements, operating manuals, marketing materials, etc: https://businessimpactnw.org/event/grow-thrive-seattle-4/

On-Demand Classes

Square One

Whether you’re new to Business Impact NW, in the idea phase, already in business, or looking to apply for a business loan, this 1 1/2 hour orientation will give you great tools. For example, it will provide actionable first steps to starting your business and the planning process, introduce you to the programs and services we offer, and offer specific information regarding our lending process: https://businessimpactnw.org/event/square-one-orientation-webinar-on-demand-13/

Empower by GoDaddy

Make your website ready for the ultimate customer experience! The Empower by GoDaddy webinars provides participants with the tools, skills, and mentorship needed to build a successful digital presence at NO CHARGE!

PPP Loan Forgiveness Part 3: Changes to the PPP Flexibility Act

Join BIN’s COVID Response Team members Christine Buckley, Oren Shani, and Ruth Qi as they walk through what you need to know about changes to PPP loan forgiveness and PPP loan forgiveness applications: https://businessimpactnw.org/event/ppp-part-3/

Celebrating Dreams Webinars

Have you seen our on-demand Celebrating Dreams Webinars? The “Keeping the Lights On”, “Marketing Strategies-Online & IR”, and “Financial Resiliency” webinars are still available! Take a look at our calendar to register: https://businessimpactnw.org/events/


VenturesVentures Logo

Ventures offers a number of sliding scale resources beyond the initial eight-week Business Basics course to help people reach their goals and move their businesses forward.

Business Basics Course

In this eight-week course, you will meet once per week for three hours with peers and business coaches to learn how to take steps towards making your business dreams a reality: https://www.venturesnonprofit.org/courses/business-basics/

So hurry and schedule a meeting with one of their business coaches to enroll in Specialized Services: https://www.venturesnonprofit.org/courses/coaching/

Financial Management

The Financial Management Course helps entrepreneurs budget, plan, save, spend, borrow in addition to investing in a sustainable way: https://www.venturesnonprofit.org/courses/financial-management-course/



For over two decades, Craft3 has funded thousands of startups and expanding businesses, nonprofits doing good, and homeowners improving their property: https://www.craft3.org/Borrow/business

Here is their business loan application guide for any questions: https://www.craft3.org/docs/default-source/loan-applications/loan-application-guide.pdf?sfvrsn=c7f57b56_12


Small Business Association (SBA)SBA Logo

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.

Firstly, discover the 10 Steps to Start Your Business: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/10-steps-start-your-business

How to Write a Business Plan

Secondly, learn the importance of business planning, the components of a business plan, and see sample plans and resources: https://www.sba.gov/course/how-write-business-plan

Young Entrepreneurs

This resource introduces young entrepreneurs to the basics of creating and financing a successful business so check them out: https://www.sba.gov/course/young-entrepreneurs

The SBA offers a variety of online courses to help you start and run your business so check out their website today: https://www.sba.gov/learning-center


Score LogoScore

SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide is a great resource. Firstly, learn from the experts with SCORE’s small business training workshops and webinars. Secondly, find interactive courses to help you learn new business strategies: https://seattle.score.org/local-workshops-2

SCORE mentors are experienced business professionals. They volunteer their time to help others start and grow their own businesses. SCORE Greater Seattle offers free, confidential small business mentoring for startup and existing businesses in the Greater Seattle area so definitely check them out: https://seattle.score.org/content/find-mentor-289

Look here for local resources, free business templates, e-guides, checklists in addition to other helpful resources for starting or growing your enterprise: https://seattle.score.org/content/browse-library-256

About the author

Ashley Minter
Communications Officer at Business Impact NW

Ashley Minter is a contract Communications Officer at Business Impact NW. Ashley is a public relations and communications professional and has worked for numerous organizations in Georgia including the City of South Fulton, City of Union City, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, and Fulton County. Ashley is also CEO of Ashley Nicole Communications, a boutique public relations firm in Atlanta.

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