WSU Vancouver to launch business assistance program

MAP Collective Program will provide management-level education & resources to small businesses

Mistie Josephson

Starting in May 2017, WSU Vancouver’s Carson College of Business will be launching a new program aimed at helping small businesses grow. The MAP Collective program will be similar to a program offered last year called the MAP Tech Collective. The course aims to provide management-level education and resources to small business owners, to effectively help them in growing and better managing their businesses through online training modules, one on one mentoring and networking events.

The program will run from May through July 2017 and is open to any business looking to accelerate their growth, but is aimed primarily at small businesses. While last year’s program was designed to specifically benefit tech businesses, this year’s program will be open to small businesses across a wide range of industries, the only requirement being that the business is fully operational and past the start-up stage.

The training modules will each be two weeks in duration and will focus on a hands-on approach to business strategy, legal entity structure, marketing strategy, promotional marketing and sales strategy, financial and operational performance, and building a strong and effective team.

Speaking on the end goals of the MAP Collective, Mistie Josephson, program manager, said, “The whole idea is that participants will walk away with an actionable growth plan. Giving them the time and space to do some real thoughtful work is something very valuable and helpful. The design of the modules with instructors and mentors really gives space to pull something together, bounce that off others and move forward with soothing they have confidence in.”

Recognizing that small business owners often wear many hats and work long hours, the MAP Collective will be fully online, aside from the networking events. Each module will include several hours of online instruction with an expert in the field, and then participants will need to spend time on exercises that will ultimately culminate into a business growth plan. Mentors will also be offering office hours throughout the course, and will be reviewing the finished growth plans and offering insight and feedback at the culmination of the course.

“The MAP Collective is another way WSU Vancouver’s Carson College of Business contributes to the betterment of the region by helping strengthen small businesses,” said Douglas Steck, one of the program’s instructors and a retired corporate executive and current WSU Vancouver executive in residence. “It’s rewarding to share strategies and tools with small business owners that they can immediately apply to their businesses to help them grow.”

Other instructors include Rick Holt, CEO, chairman and co-founder of SOLE Financial; Rick Howell, principal at Howell Management Consulting, WSU Vancouver adjunct professor and executive in residence; Kevin Joyce, CMO and VP of marketing strategy at Pedowitz Group; Andy LaFrazia, president of ControlTek; Matt Larson, corporate attorney at Duffy Kekel and WSU Vancouver adjunct professor; and Debbe Sanders, Ph.D., WSU Vancouver professor of accounting, associate academic director, MBA faculty director. Mentors are still to be announced.

Interested businesses can visit to register online. There is no cap on the number of participants, but the number is expected to be between 10 and 20. Due to support from JP Morgan Chase, the cost of the program is $500.

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