Resources

WWU Entrepreneurial Studies Program

To tackle business challenges with creative solutions, contact the WWU Entrepreneurial Studies Program. Businesses are teamed with a group of equipped students with experience in the industry who can assist in solving the problem.

SCORE

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offers connections with mentors from different industries. They provide no-fee advising to new businesses.

Advising

Challenges in business arise all the time. Entrepreneurs face growing pains when faced with the daunting task of creating a strategic plan, generating funding, and determining a target market. Established businesses struggle with extending product life cycles and expanding current operations. Professional advice is accessible through many local programs at affordable prices. The SBDC can assist with additional questions regarding these programs.

Our Business Advisors

We Have the Expertise to Help You

The Small Business Development Center in Bellingham currently has three certified business advisors with extensive business experience and a statewide network of over 30 advisors so that no matter what you need help with we can get you in touch with someone who can assist you.

Jennifer Shelton

Jennifer Shelton

Jennifer has been with the SBDC for 9 years and has experience in various aspects of business development, including non-profit, corporate and small business. Additionally Jennifer started and ran a coffee shop in Langley, B.C. In 2010, Jennifer was recognized as the WSBDC state star performer and was awarded the State Star for Washington State.

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Jennifer Shelton is a Certified Business Advisor for the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA serving businesses in Whatcom County (WWU SBDC).

She first got involved with the SBDC as a research analyst at the WWU SBDC in 2000-2002. In 2003 she was hired to start and run the SW King County SBDC at Highline Community College. While directing the operations there serving SW King County she was awarded "Outstanding Business at Large" for 2003 by the SW King County Chamber. In 2004 she took some time off to be with her family and did some contract work at Microsoft. In 2005 she came back to the SBDC and directed the Edmonds Community College SBDC serving Snohomish County, Washington until 2010 where she came to run the SBDC for Western Washington University.

Jennifer holds an MBA from Western Washington University and a BA of Communications from Seattle Pacific University. She also has additional certification in Sales & Marketing and Professional Coaching. As of 2011 Jennifer brings 20 years of work experience in business development and communications. Her experience includes Starbucks, Focus on the Family, and other local non-profit, local and small corporations. Her small business experience involves starting and managing a retail coffee shop with 12 employees in Fort Langley, BC.

As a Certified Business Advisor, Jennifer provides no-fee, confidential advising to clients in a wide range of small business. She has taught and written curriculum on business planning and technology called 21st Century Business Planning which is currently being used for the Self Employment Assistance Program in Snohomish County to help new entrepreneurs learn to run a business successfully. In 2010 Jennifer was recognized as the WSBDC state star performer and later that year awarded the State Star for Washington award at the national conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers.

She assists clients from manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, multi-unit retailers and professional service providers and more on loan application packages, forecasting, marketing strategy, written business plans, analyzing financial statements to improve profitability, business expansions and other topics driven by the client's needs.

She is passionate about supporting entrepreneurial spirit and empowering business owners by providing access to the information & tools they need to create and sustain successful business ventures.

Eric Grimstead

Eric Grimstead

Eric has been working for the SBDC since 2008 and has spent the last 21 years solving complex business problems. He has also had success running his own marketing consulting and internet development company.

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Eric Grimstead is a Certified Business Advisor and Certified Global Business Professional for the Small Business Development Center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

He was first hired by the SBDC in 2008 and has spent the last 4 years counseling hundreds of clients throughout Whatcom County. As both an entrepreneur and Certified Business Advisor, Eric has spent the last 21 years solving complex business problems. His work experience includes working with a boat manufacturing company where he helped launch the company and grew sales from $0 to $4 million, one of the largest independent direct mail companies on the West Coast where he worked with clients like the Washington Nationals (Major League Baseball) and Jafra Cosmetics, and running his own successful marketing consulting and internet development company.

Eric enjoys working with clients to increase business profitability, wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities. He is a recognized business growth strategist and direct response marketing expert. He has presented a number of training programs on how to leverage social media and digital marketing to grow sales and increase brand awareness.

Eric is dedicated to growing businesses and advancing personal achievement. He believes strongly in ethical business practices. Eric welcomes meeting with any entrepreneur who wants to grow their business, increase their personal wealth and add to their personal growth.

Wade Stringfield

Wade Stringfield

Wade joined the SBDC in July 2012 after spending nine years in the banking industry working for both US Bank and Wells Fargo Bank in Northern Puget Sound. His most recent position prior to joining the SBDC was Sr. Business Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo Bank’s Business Banking Group in Bellingham.

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Wade joined the SBDC in July 2012 after spending nine years in the banking industry working for both US Bank and Wells Fargo Bank in Northern Puget Sound. His most recent position prior to joining the SBDC was Sr. Business Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo Bank's Business Banking Group in Bellingham. Wade is adept at providing valuable insights concerning business plans, financial statements, proposals for commercial finance, and business valuations.

His industry expertise ranges from manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, professional services, restaurants, and the healthcare industry. Wade has a passion for food based product businesses, family owned businesses, and entrepreneurs interested in e-commerce.

He enjoys assisting entrepreneurs with capital formation projects, and completing financial packages, in addition to understanding borrowing causes, financial ratio analysis, cash flow analysis, and helping business owners plan for future transition.

In addition to his banking career, Wade spent two years following his entrepreneurial urge and developed an idea for a retail shoe store from concept to execution. He holds a BBA with dual emphases in finance and marketing from Oklahoma Baptist University, and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma.

He's dedicated to providing small business owners with accurate answers and useful resources in a timely manner so they can capitalize on their opportunities and positively impact their small business.

Page Updated 09.11.2013