Business Development Opportunities


Ashland and Southern Oregon are hosts to Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College offering engaging, professional, Business Development Opportunities.      

  • Southern Oregon University- School of Business- Southern Oregon University’s School of Business offers two continuing education Masters programs to assist in business development; Master of Business Administration and Master in Management. Courses in these programs are taught by qualified faculty with a broad range of business experience. The MBA degree can be completed in one year (four quarters) with weekday evening classes on Campus or Saturdays at the Higher Education Center in Medford, or for students needing a part time program, in 18-21 months.  The MiM program consists of a 45 credit curriculum and usually takes a year and a half to complete.  For more information about advanced degrees in business, click here.

  • Rogue Community College is not only the location of the Small Business Development Center but it also provides a number of Business Development opportunities for Small Businesses.

    ​       ♦​  Avista Entrepreneurship program- in partnership with Avista Utilities, the Entrepreneurship program provides students the opportunity to gain experience in entrepreneurship through hands on learning experiences. For more information and to register for the program, click here.  

           ♦​   Small Business Management program (SBM)- the SBM at RCC is a nine-month intensive learning experience for Small Business owners, providing them in-class learning, one on one business counseling and opportunities to learn from their peers. For more information, click here.

Business Oregon Creates $400,000 Fund for Small Business Innovation

Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, is starting a $400,000 grant program to help small businesses fund research and development of new, innovative products.

The fund will support Oregon small businesses that want to earn a share of the $2.5 billion awarded annually in highly competitive federal research grants. Oregon currently ranks in the middle tier among states in capturing federal innovation grants for small businesses.

"For sustainable economic growth in both urban and rural Oregon, we must continually look for ways to give small business and entrepreneurs a leg-up," said Governor Kate Brown. "Leveraging state grant funds to access federal funds fosters innovation that not only brings great ideas to life, it creates more opportunities to grow Oregon business statewide."

The federal grant programs—known as Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, or SBIR/STTR—are designed to encourage small companies and research universities to pursue risky but rewarding research that helps bring new ideas to market and maintains the United States' position as the global leader in innovation. iRobot, Qualcomm and Symantec are examples of companies that grew out of the SBIR/STTR program.

"Innovation grows jobs," said Sean Robbins, Business Oregon's director. "We need to do more to nurture early-stage startups. We created this program to help Oregon small businesses earn a bigger share of federal research dollars to transform ideas on a white board into products sold around the globe."

At Business Oregon, our mission is to grow Oregon jobs, companies and communities. That work starts with helping entrepreneurs and existing Oregon businesses grow here at home. The SBIR/STTR fund is part of Business Oregon's strategy to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

Access to capital is a key hurdle for early-stage small businesses, especially for companies in the R&D phase. The SBIR program, created in 1982, is designed to ensure small businesses have access to federal R&D grants. The programs provide funding in two grant phases.

Phase I: Funds research on a product's feasibility, typically up to $150,000
Phase II: Funds the development of a market-ready product, typically up to $1 million

Business Oregon's $400,000 grant program will provide $100,000 to expand an existing program that helps companies prepare SBIR/STTR grant applications. The remaining $300,000 will be for matching grants to companies that win the federal grants to help make their innovations more market ready.

About SBIR: Federal agencies that produce more than $100 million in external research annually must allocate 2.8% of their spending to SBIR. Currently, 11 federal agencies participate.

About STTR: Federal agencies that produce more than $1 billion in external research annually must allocate .3% to STTR. Five agencies participate.

For Entrepreneurs
To learn how to apply: Visit the Business Oregon Web site or contact our Innovation Strategist Mark Brady at 503-229-5223.

Oregon SBIR/STTR training: Oregon BEST will host a series of training sessions around Oregon. The first is today in Hood River. They will host five more sessions through March 13 in Corvallis, Newport, Beaverton, Eugene and Bend.

Power Up Academy

The PowerUp Academy was created by Rogue Workforce Partnership to meet the real-time, skill advancement training needs for businesses in the region. Our Business Outreach Team is a solution-driven service committed to providing excellence in the support of a workforce delivery system. All of our trainings are a direct result of requests by local businesses, and we are continuously adding new trainings to our offerings in a quick, efficient manner, often meeting training needs in just a few weeks. For more information and to register your business, click here

Grow Oregon

Offered through the SBDC, Grow Oregon provides these and other services to qualified companies:

This program is for companies that have 10–99 employees, annual gross sales of $1,000,000–$50,000,000, and meet other criteria.

Business Development Resources from the SBA

For more information, click here.

  • Strategic needs assessment

  • Advanced market research and analysis

  • Digital media assistance

  • Search engine optimization guidance

  • CEO networking and mentoring

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Data Partners:
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