Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

ENCORE/Solo Business Builders

Woman teaches breathing exercises to student at business Breath is the Answer

Get in touch

Turn your experience into a rewarding small business – make a living doing what you love.

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Perhaps you are retired or you have been laid off, and you’re looking for some extra income, or something to keep you busy.

As a solopreneur you’re doing it all. From marketing to invoicing, do you ever wonder how you got into this mess? You became a solopreneur because you love what you do. But when you get bogged down in running your business, you can lose track of the passion that got you started. Encore Entrepreneurship is also on the rise. Never before has it been easier for 50+ individuals to monetize their knowledge, skills, and experience. Our Business Builders program is for people of all ages – just like you!

The Program

In this 10-week program, you will:

  • Learn how to develop a business model able to innovate and adapt during changing economic conditions
  • Network with other small business owners and learn solutions to navigating these times
  • Hear from experts to ensure your company is compliant
  • Ensure consideration of safety measures for your staff, customers and community are in place
  • Gain clarity about your business within current market conditions
  • Learn how to work on your business in an efficient manner
  • Work and plan one-on-one with a business advisor
  • Learn from subject-matter experts

Each week we’ll bring in subject-matter experts to teach on important areas. Sessions meet weekly for 10-weeks and are 3-hours long. Business Builders is more than just a class. It includes:

  • Group learning and networking to discuss challenges, exchange resources, and find solutions with peers.
  • Up to 5 hours of one-on-one advising during the 10-month period following Business Builders
    Access to specialty business advisors with a wide range of expertise
  • Access to market research resources such as Southern Oregon University Market Research Institute, SBDCNet, Reference USA, MarketLink, and Euromonitor
  • You’ll enjoy 30-hours of online, live classroom business education with 10 weekly, 3-hour sessions taught by subject-matter experts. Subjects include:
    • Defining mission, vision, goals
    • The Business Model Canvas
    • The Pillars of Marketing
    • Building Your Brand
    • Marketing in the age of COVID-19
    • Understanding Legal Concepts
    • Bookkeeping and Finance
    • Pricing is an Art
    • E-Commerce Sales: Virtual Business Model
    • Financing Your Business

This program may be for you if you are:

  • 50+ and seeking to create a flow of income by monetizing your knowledge, skills, and expertise.
  • Retired, laid off, or downsized, and looking to supplement your retirement or support yourself.
  • Seeking a job and are really discouraged. Self employment can be the answer.
  • Seeking to be a part of a cohort and to learn from all types of fellow business owners!
The Investment
  • 30 hours in class, divided into 10 weekly, 3-hour sessions
  • Plus, Up to 5 hours of one-on-one advising during the 10 month period following Business Builders


  • Tuition is $799
  • Payment terms are available through Portland Community College
  • An additional person from your business can take the course for 1/2 price, $400

The Return:

  • Invaluable advice from industry experts that will save you years of frustration
  • Support from a network of peers and mentors
  • Confidence to make the right decisions for your new business


The Instructor

Jackie B. Peterson is a teacher, consultant, business coach and former CPA with over 35 years of business experience. She has taught numerous business seminars, classes and workshops for clients, Portland Community College, the SBDC, as well as Pike Place Market and Oregon Coast Counsel for the Arts to name a few. Jackie’s most recent endeavor is the book Better, Smarter, Richer, 7 Business Principles for Encore, Creative and Solo Entrepreneurs which focuses on the needs of solopreneurs—the fastest growing business model for the 21st Century. Over the years, Jackie has worked with hundreds of small businesses and always encourages them to raise their prices, charge what they are worth and be able to immediately articulate their value proposition. Jackie holds a BA in Economics and a Masters in Organizational Management.

What Our Clients Say

“These services have brought clarity to the whole process of launching my own business in a more profitable direction. I appreciate the passion that the people in this program have shown to make sure that we can all succeed. I always felt the support of the SBDC advisors as well as my peers.” – Diana Zapata, Zapata Design

“Considering Business Builders course through SBDC/PCC? It was a great investment in my new business because:

  1. It kept me from making financial and time wasting mistakes (that alone paid for the course)
  2. It gave me a road map to follow and to which I can refer back
  3. It gave me structure and weekly accountability
  4. I have classmates who are like minded entrepreneurs who share my process and provide feedback
  5. It gave me weekly support and ongoing access to the Advisor and other resources
  6. It expanded my business and personal network
  7. It was a lot of fun and practical knowledge
  8. And, it’s tax deductible
  9. SO, WHY NOT?”

– Anne Hudson, The Sourceress

Upcoming Schedule for Business Builders

Register Now

Find the CRN of your course from the class schedule. Then, register:

  • Online: If this is your first time taking a class at PCC, create an account. If you are a returning student, log on to MyPCC and click “Register for classes,” found in your Term-to-Term Checklist, under “Register”.
  • Phone: Call 971-722-8888, option 2.

Need help? Get detailed information on how to register and how to pay.

Questions? Contact the SBDC at sbdc@pcc.edu or 971-722-5080.