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Your Business - Start Smart: Workshops Bring Free Entrepreneurship Training Throughout Pierce County

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Seattle District Office, Pierce County Library System partner on entrepreneurial education program
Release Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Release Number: 
SDOPR 16-06
Matthew Williams 206-553-7315

PIERCE COUNTY – Monthly free entrepreneurship workshops for 2016 will kick-off in February throughout Pierce County to bring education to people who are interested in starting their own businesses but are unaware of the many free resources available to them. 

Your Business - Start Smart is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office and the Pierce County Library System (PCLS). 

The program pulls together resources from the SBA, its resource partners, and the Pierce County Library System to provide a two-hour seminar covering the following five topics: 

  • Characteristics and motivations of entrepreneurs

  • Initial considerations, steps and planning

  • Financing options

  • Market research tools

  • Local resources

“By combining our resources and communication channels together, we can more effectively connect entrepreneurs in Pierce County with local resources,” SBA Seattle District Director Nancy Porzio said. “The library has branch locations in nearly every community, which enables us to meet people where they live and connect them with our many – and often free – resources in mentoring, financing, and education.” 

In 2015, a pilot of the Start Smart program was implemented in the Seattle, King County and Pierce County Library Systems. On evaluations from the pilot program, attendees stated the information was helpful, expressed gratitude for bringing the program to their area, and indicated they had no idea so many free resources were available to them. 

“Pierce County Library System is excited to connect small business owners to this expertise and a wealth of resources,” said Jaime Prothro, customer experience manager. “We’re confident these workshops will help our local businesses thrive.”

In addition to the initial Start Smart class, the program will deliver workshops focused on financing, growing, franchising, marketing, online retailing, and planning.

            Your Business - Start Smart
            Feb. 18 – Lakewood Pierce County Library
            May 19 – Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library

            Your Business - Finance Smart
            March 17 – South Hill Pierce County Library

            Your Business - Market Smart
            April 21 – South Hill Pierce County Library
            July 21 – Gig Harbor Pierce County Library

            Your Business - Franchise Smart
            June 16 – Lakewood Pierce County Library

            Your Business - Sell Online Smart
            Sept. 15 – Sumner Pierce County Library

            Your Business - Plan Smart
            Oct. 20 – Parkland/ Spanaway Pierce County Library

           Your Business - Grow Smart
           Nov. 17 – University Place Pierce County Library

Find more information about the Start Smart program and classes throughout Western Washington.

About the SBA Seattle District Office:
The SBA Seattle District serves Washington State and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane. Today’s SBA stands for more than Small Business Administration; it stands for Smart, Bold and Accessible. SBA staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – Counseling, Capital and Contracting. Visit  for local information including resource partners, lenders, events and workshops, success stories, news and updates, and other information aimed to help business start, grow and succeed.

About Pierce County Library System
The nationally acclaimed Pierce County Library System serves more than 563,000 people throughout the county with 20 branches and online services. The system is the fourth largest in the state and is funded primarily through property taxes.