Jackie Babicky-Peterson has been with Portland Community College since 2001. With a well-versed background, Jackie teaches the Business Design Series for PCC's Small Business Design Center. Keep reading to learn more about the program.
What are your areas of expertise, and how did you become interested in business development?
My areas of expertise are business strategy, business models, solo-preneurship (the fastest growing business model) plus financial accounting. I have been a part of the Small Business Development Center since 2001. I am a CPA by profession and owned my own CPA firm for 15 years before owning a consulting firm for an additional 12 years prior to coming to work at the SBDC in 2001. I have many years of general business experience and over the years have worked with literally hundreds of small businesses.
What challenges do your students face and how will they be impacted by the Business Design Series?
The challenges facing the students are first and foremost getting clear about what they want to do and their idea. Then they need to find the time to work on getting the business started, and lastly finding the money that may be needed. They often have not thought their idea all the way through in a way that will make it work. Students get a view of business from a very basic but important level. We do lots of class discussions about each students' ideas and plans and they get many handouts to work on at their own pace.
What's the biggest obstacle that your Business Design Series students face and what will they gain from this program?
The biggest obstacle they have is not knowing what they want to do and what is possible. They do not know how to make the transition from working full time for someone to working on their own as self-employed or a business owner. The best students are those who see the Business Design Series as the first step; not the only business course they will ever take. Our most successful students continue with a Business Builders class in their area of interest such as retail, restaurant, a small business with employees, or solo business. Also, our most successful students take advantage of the no cost one-on-one advising that is available to them through our very good business advisers.
In what ways is the Portland marketplace similar or different to national trends?
I think Portland is a very hot market for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a very accepted way of life here. Portland is a leader in what is a national trend. More people are starting businesses today than ever, and if they get help, support, and training needed they can be very successful.
The Business Design Series from the Small Business Development Center is a four-session program. The themes for each session are as follows: Business Concepts; Customer Relations; Business Operations; and Organizing and Launching Your Business. The class meets once a week for two hours, for four weeks. For more information on when sessions start and more detail on what will be included, visit our website or bizcenter.org/pcc.