Listed below are business classes, workshops, seminars and guides to help your business thrive.
For business grants, proposal opportunities, or low-cost loans, visit Business Funding Opportunities -The City of Vancouver, WA
To request this information or any documents noted below in a different format or language, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Vancouver supports businesses and employees during this difficult period. We are working with our economic development partners in Clark County, the Greater Portland region, Washington state, and at the federal level to provide important information to assist businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please feel free to reach out to the City’s Economic Development Team with any questions that you may have:
Current Business Workshops, Classes and Education
Mercy Corps NW: Free Classes and One-on-One Business Consulting
Free one-on-one small business consulting sessions, until 12/31/23 (in English and Spanish).
Fourth Plain Forward: Free 7-Month Program for Food Entrepreneurs
Stepping Forward Business Incubator, offered by Fourth Plain Forward, is a 7-month program designed to lower start-up cost barriers and promote diversity. Program will provide participants with all the resources, coaching, and advising needed to successfully launch their dream food business.
MESO provides Free/Low-Cost Business Education
MESO provides virtual business classes and workshops in English and in Spanish that focus on the foundational elements of running a small business. Learn more about their current offerings and how to sign up.
Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) Non-Profit Workshop: Navigating the Non-Profit Customer Journey
Unlock the secrets of impactful engagement at the GVC‘s Nonprofit POD Workshop. Explore the intricacies of Customer Journeys for all your stakeholders. Gain valuable insights and actionable strategies to boost engagement, cultivate enduring relationships, and maximize your organization’s impact.
- 12/19/23 from 8:30-10:30am. Space is limited. Cost based on GVC membership: $0 or $20
- Learn more about GVC’s Business Pod Program designed to empower and educate small business owners
SCORE provides Free/Low-Cost Business Education
Main Street America Partners with Grow with Google to Offer Free Workshops
Main Street America and Grow with Google have teamed up to help business owners gain new skills through local Digital Coaches. Through the Grow with Google Digital Coaches program, 10 coaches in small towns across America are offering free live trainings and hands-on coaching. No matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, your local Digital Coach can help you build skills to take the next step for your business.
Small Business Requirements & Resources (SBRR): Free Webinar – Start a Business in WA
The Small Business Liaison Team (SBLT) is a partnership between 29 state agencies working together with local economic development partners to support and connect with business owners in offering free business education. The Small Business Requirements & Resources (SBRR) offer free workshops with essential information and resources to help start and grow your business These events are sponsored by the Small Business Liaison Team and hosted by various partners.
- Sign-up for the 60 minute Start a Business in Washington webinar on Thursday, December 14th, 2023, at 2pm
Oregon MBDA offers Free/Low-cost Business Education
The Oregon Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), managed and operated by Business Impact NW, is dedicated to serving underbanked entrepreneurs. Their goal is to assist minority businesses who are seeking growth opportunities with consulting, business training, contracting and business development. Learn more about their current virtual offerings and how to sign up.
Portland Community College’s SBDC offers Training Programs
Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been helping entrepreneurs build businesses for 40 years. Start, grow, or rebuild your business confidently with support from these specialized business training programs.
- 1/18/24: Business Builders 12-week program. Build your business with confidence. Delve into foundational business practices and industry-specific training. Designed for early-stage business.
- 1/16/24 and 2/28/24: Business Design 4-week series. Develop the foundational structure for your business idea to start and thrive. Designed for pre-venture entrepreneurs.
- 2/7/24: Advanced Small Business Management. Level up your mature small business. Focus on crafting and implementing innovative strategies for faster growth and scalability. Designed for businesses 5+ years old.
- 3/26/24: Getting Your Recipe to Market. Turn your recipe into a commercial-ready food product in 12 weeks. Designed for pre-venture or early-stage businesses.
Small Business Guide: This Small Business Guide is broken into six sections, based on your stage of business. Whether you are starting your business, managing a new business, or expanding your business, you will find valuable information and resources. The business guide is accessible online, and it’s also available in PDF to use as a printed reference manual. The PDF is available English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, Somali, Tagalog and two volumes in Braille Ready Format. The Business Guide includes sections that will help you plan, run, grow, or close a business in Washington State.
Starting a Non-Profit in WA State: The Nonprofit Association of Washington (NAWA) partners with a powerful network of nonprofit organizations across Washington State to learn, advocate, and collaborate, so that nonprofits can achieve their missions. Sometimes a single learning session is just what you need to get started. Popular webinars include QuickBooks Made Easy, Boards & Governance Leadership Training and more. Find your non-profit session in their event calendar.
SBA offers free webinars to start, grow, or expand your Small Business
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is celebrating 70 years of service. To honor this occasion, the SBA Portland District Office invites business owners and aspiring owners to join them for webinars focused on starting, growing, or expanding your small business. Whether you’re starting a business, growing a business, or in recovery mode, the SBA can offer guidance with their free education, Resource Partner Network, loan programs, government contracting, certifications, and more. Learn more about their free/low-cost virtual and in-person educational events.
SBA Learning Center: Free Online Business Courses
SBA’s online learning programs are designed to empower and educate small business owners every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to start a small business or expand your current one, SBA’s digital learning platform has everything you need to educate yourself on entrepreneurial best practices and available financing options.
WA State Department of Labor & Industries: Free Workshops and Webinars
WA State Department of L&I is a state agency dedicated to the safety, health, and security of Washington’s 3.3 million workers. Here is a combined list of all the workshops, events and webinars that L&I offers. Search, sort and filter the list to find what pertains to you. Learn more about their free/low-cost virtual and in-person educational events.
Business Assistance Resources
View a list of resources in each category below.
- Business Impact NW
- Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC)
- East Vancouver Business Association
- Fourth Plain Forward
- Greater Portland Inc. (GPI)
- Greater Vancouver Chamber
- Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (en Español)
- Mercy Corps SW WA
- Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon and SW WA (MESO)
- Oregon Minority Business Development Agency (OR MBDA)
- Vancouver’s Downtown Association (VDA)
- Visit Vancouver WA
- WSUV – MAP
- WorkSource and Workforce Southwest Washington have several programs that can help businesses, including layoff-aversion programs
- Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) News and Resources
- Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Office