Business Advisor for PSU Business Outreach Program

Job Title:                  Business Advisor
Organization:          PSU Business Outreach Program
Reports To:             BOP Executive Director               

The Business Outreach Program (BOP) at Portland State University is hiring Business Advisor(s) for ½ time to ¾ time.

The PSU Business Outreach Program (BOP) provides technical assistance and business consulting services to locally-owned, small businesses, with a focus on emerging, minority, and women-owned enterprises. The program was created to meet the needs of small businesses by assisting entrepreneurs in improving their profitability and survivability, while at the same time, allowing PSU students to engage in community-based learning with first-hand business consulting experience.

The primary purpose of the Business Advisor is to provide one-on-one technical assistance, mentorship and consulting services to clients eligible for Business Outreach Program assistance through the program’s partnerships and contracts. Additionally, this position facilitates and teaches workshops and trainings to small peer-based groups. This position will have responsibility for some BOP program development activities and engagement with students, faculty & staff at PSU. The role offers flexible scheduling options and opportunities to telecommute, in addition to working on-site at the BOP office.


  1. Ensure that all BOP clients, workshop participants, interns, and students receive exceptional support and learning opportunities that meet their needs, forward their goals, and continually improve their business skills, while maintaining the overall integrity of the BOP, PSU, our funders and partners, and the local business community.
  2. Ensure that all contract funding requirements and program standards are understood, communicated, and continually met. Ensure that data is collected to meet all reporting requirements. Demonstrate accuracy, attention to detail, maintenance of confidentiality, and the ability to meet deadlines and appropriately interact with sensitive information.
  3. Engage as a contributing member of the BOP team and the PSU community, ensuring a harmonious and effective work environment that strengthens the program's mission and our service delivery to students, small business clients and community partners.


  • Provide efficient and effective one-on-one technical assistance, advising and consulting services to program participants utilizing a professional approach with relevant and accurate business acumen.
  • Conduct a needs assessment for each business, identifying the support needs and creating an action plan for how those needs can be met through program services, local opportunities and referrals.
  • Counsel and train small business clients on how to plan, develop and operate a successful small business, specifically in relation to business strategy, marketing, operations, human resources, compliance, and/or financial planning (e.g. understanding business financial statements, budgeting & creating projections).
  • Formulate business recommendations to clients and provide support services to carry out recommendations. Connect client to referrals and additional resources as needed.
  • Conduct outreach efforts to the small business community.  Attend community partner meetings acting as an advocate for clients and the program.
  • Facilitate, teach, coordinate and promote BOP workshops, trainings, small business forums and client networking events. Contribute and/or develop training curriculum.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with other economic development and business assistance agencies and professionals.
  • Accurately document activities and outcomes including: time tracking, client goals and action plans, project progress, and client activities and achievements. Perform administrative duties in conformance with contract guidelines and BOP reporting requirements. Input client data and outcomes into tracking/database systems.
  • Manage project contract(s), acting as project lead and primary interface between BOP and partner organizations.
  • Provide oversight and mentor student workers, student consulting teams and part-time staff to provide timely and relevant feedback to ensure a successful deliverable.
  • Assist in recruiting, training and oversight of student interns.
  • Act in support of the BOP team, administrative staff, advisors and students to ensure a supportive environment and effective collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Provide limited administrative support for BOP office.
  • Assist with program development.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Three years experience in, or combination of, entrepreneurship, small business ownership, microenterprise development, business assistance, consulting, or small business management. Experience in advising and/or mentoring small businesses.
  • Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, or equivalent professional experience required. Masters in Business Administration preferred.
  • Multilingual candidates preferred. Spanish, Russian, and/or Mandarin speakers a plus. Spoken and written English fluency required.
  • Ability to consider alternative and diverse perspectives, interact effectively with people in a positive manner that engenders confidence and trust.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for small business and/or entrepreneurship.
  • Professional demeanor, focused, articulate and well organized.
  • Superior communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to demonstrate active listening skills.
  • Ability to follow-up with clients, partners and colleagues in a timely manner.
  • Ability to lead and teach others. Effective leadership skills.
  • Experience teaching and facilitating in a small classroom environment.
  • Effective time management and organizational skills with demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Highly motivated, self-starter.
  • Ability to juggle and prioritize multiple projects while maintaining superb quality.
  • Ability to work independently and perform relevant research.
  • Ability to think critically and problem solve.
  • Ability to work in a fluid environment. Demonstrates adaptability and strategic realignment.
  • Knowledge of small business and community resources in Portland, Oregon, preferred.
  • Proficiency with standard software programs, especially business accounting, finance and spreadsheet applications. Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite.
  • Experience with bookkeeping software, databases, content management and survey tools, a plus.

This is a wage contract position with potential for extension. Position is paid hourly with no benefits. Hourly wage is $20-$25/hr. depending on experience. Weekly hours not expected to exceed an average of 32 hours a week. The contract is subject to renewal based on funding and job performance.  

Position Location: This position is located in Portland, Oregon. Position will be performed at BOP office, satellite locations in City of Portland and through telecommuting. Position requires access to reliable transportation.

Physical Requirements: Position requires physical lifting of 35lbs. or less, on a limited basis. Position requires sitting for extended periods of time.  

As part of the PSU Business Outreach Program the employee will be expected to facilitate interactions with students, faculty, and programs that serve the mutual interests of the BOP and the University.

Portland State University is an Equal Opportunity Institution and welcomes applications from diverse candidates and candidates who support diversity.

The hours will vary on average between 25-32 hours per week, while never exceeding 32 hours per week. Employee must be able to work effectively in an office setting, plus options for telecommuting. Responsibilities must be met four to five days a week during business hours. Some evening work engagement required. Specific weekly hours scheduled is flexible.


TO APPLY: Submit a brief personal statement addressing the required qualifications, a resume, and contact information for 3 professional references in electronic format via one comprehensive email with attachments to: Use email subject: ADVISOR APPLICATION – (your last name)

Position open until filled.

Emily Sterling