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College’s key SBDC advisor wins top state award
Photos and Story by James Hill
Jackie Babicky Peterson has helped to launch at least 1,000 small businesses in her career.
So, it’s not surprising that the long time business advisor at Portland Community College’s Small Business Development Center has been awarded the 2015 Oregon American Small Business Development Center State Star. Each year at its national conference, the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) honors people from each state for their service to small businesses, or who have provided a significant contribution to the state’s SBDC and community.
“Being recognized as the State Star of Oregon is really meaningful to me,” said Babicky Peterson, who leads the SBDC’s encore entrepreneur program as a strategic advisor and instructor. “I am a great believer in the SBDC and how it helps budding entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. We all do great work.”
Babicky Peterson, who joined PCC in 2000, is a State Star whose light shines bright beyond Oregon. She has coached, taught and counseled countless numbers of creative and DIY entrepreneurs to financial success during the past 30 years. For this work, she has gained national media attention in her work in the fast-growing areas of small business encore and solo entrepreneurship.
The State Star isn’t her only accolade. The Northeast Portland resident was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the Northwest by her past clients and has been recognized with the prestigious President’s Award by the Portland Business Alliance for her extensive work helping small businesses thrive.
“To me, this State Star recognition means that my personal work focused on the model of solo entrepreneurship is being accepted by my own network, and I find that the recognition of my work thrilling,” added Babicky Peterson about the state’s network of SBDCs. “The latest figures show that as of 2014 there are about 30 million workers who work independently in solo businesses. Many of these are creatives and encores. I am passionate about helping them find financial success.”
Over the course of her career Babicky Peterson has become even more influential: from awards to writing books titled “Better, Smarter, Richer” and “Wiser, Smarter, Richer” to assisting local leaders with small business issues. In 2006, she was asked by then Portland Mayor Sam Adams to advise him on steps the city could take to support creative entrepreneurship. In 2004, she led a team that brought a small business “Bill of Rights” to the Portland City Council, which is considered a national model today.“Her contribution and commitment to small business owners, the PCC Small Business Development Center, and its partners across the state have set the standards for all business development professionals,” said PCC’s SBDC Director Tammy Marquez-Oldham. “Thousands of small business owners have grown healthy businesses, benefiting their families, employees and their communities because of Jackie’s advising, mentoring and teaching.”
And her story doesn’t stop here. Babicky Peterson has presented on encore and solo entrepreneurship nationally. She has shared elements of her program at the national conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship via national webinars for the American Society on Aging, and will talk at the national conference for the ASBDC in San Francisco in September, representing Oregon’s SBDCs.
The question left is whether the 72-year-old will ever slow down and retire. She admits she is spending more and more time just doing what she loves like reading, playing with her grandchildren and traveling with her husband.“Nowadays I work a little at a time,” Babicky Peterson added. “But as long as I keep my energy up and it’s fun, I won’t stop working.”