Concordia University business students will have the unique opportunity to help people in North and Northeast Portland improve existing small businesses and start new business ventures through a new partnership with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), an organization sponsored by the Small Business Administration.
As a national non-profit organization, SCORE pairs working and retired business executives with people in need of business advice. Executives volunteer their time and the service is free.
Concordia University's School of Management invited the Portland SCORE chapter to consider opening an office at the university, the first of its kind in the United States.
In addition to helping clients, the program will provide Concordia's undergraduate and MBA students with real-world opportunities, such as attending SCORE client counseling sessions and participating in hands-on internships.
Because more than 20 percent of SCORE's clients currently come from North and Northeast Portland, a SCORE office will open on the Concordia campus this September to provide more convenient access to resources.
"The Concordia University location represents a new model for SCORE," said Steve Blanton, chairman of the Portland Metro SCORE chapter. "This model will provide new opportunities for SCORE counselors to serve the small business and university communities. SCORE hopes to use this partnership as a model for chapters across the country."
The pilot project was spearheaded by Dr. Steve Krause, chairman of the Business Administration Degree Program at Concordia. He envisioned a partnership with SCORE to foster relationship building with businesses in Northeast Portland, Clark County, and points east along the Columbia River Corridor.
Douglas Kindred, national chairman of SCORE in Washington D.C., and a member of the Concordia University's Foundation Board, encouraged the partnership and said he sees the potential for a national model in which SCORE can build relationships with their clients by providing services at selected universities.
"The SCORE partnership is an expansion of Concordia's servant leadership mission," said Dr. Stephen Braun, dean of Concordia's School of Management. "Our students will apply their knowledge and skills for the benefit of our community's non-profit organizations, start-up ventures and small business enterprises in conjunction with volunteer SCORE counselors."
Concordia University is a private, Lutheran, liberal arts university located in northeast Portland, founded in 1905.