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Oregon Minority Startup Program Offers Money And Mentorship

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/243860891
Stuart Seeger
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Flickr
A view of Portland at dawn

The Portland Development Commission this week launched a $3 million fund to invest in startups founded by women and minorities.

Governor Kate Brown and Business Oregon pitched in $250,000. But funding isn’t the only means to success for minority businesses.

Each startup will receive as much as $50,000 from the fund, plus mentoring and business advising services. As Sam Brooks, founder of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs tells it, that last part is most important.

“The back room stuff is what kills you,” he said.

Brooks said money for minority businesses is a good thing – and there needs to be more of it. But what these companies need most is support.

“It isn’t about the money,” he said. “It’s about trying to work with those businesses so they can actually be successful with the money.”

PDC has $1.25 million already committed to the fund.