In 1988, Oregon based Nike launched its “Just Do It” advertising campaign. The slogan was designed to connect with athletes, however it was just as applicable for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship starts with an idea to do something better than is currently offered or to serve a market that is either not served or under served. Phil Knight & Bill Bowerman did just that when they created superior running shoes that were available to the public in garages in Eugene, Oregon and eventually revolutionized the athletic shoe & apparel industry. This spirit of entrepreneurship remains strong in the state and can be found in the spectrum of privately held companies & family owned businesses owned and operated from Portland to Pendleton and from Eugene to Bend.

One area where entrepreneurship is strong in Oregon is in the manufacturing sector, especially in the areas of computers & electronics. Manufacturing currently makes up approximately 15% of the gross domestic product of Oregon while employing over 10% of the state’s workforce. The state’s manufacturing sector has a financial output of over $35 billion annually creating over 200,000 good paying jobs with an average annual average compensation exceeding $80,000 per year. IBA, as a regional expert in the sale of manufacturing & distribution companies since 1975, is a frequent resource & professional adviser to entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest manufacturing sector as they strategically plan for the sale of their companies, succession of ownership and/or management, or growth by acquisition.

The “Just Do It” attitude for entrepreneurship in Oregon can also be found in the robust wine and cannabis industries in the state. Wine grapes are the most valuable crop in the state having a value of roughly $200 million annually. In addition, the state’s over 700 wineries create approximately 15,000 jobs while approaching $3.35 billion of statewide economic impact from the Oregon wine industry. Recognizing Oregon’s wonderful soil and moist climate, the cannabis industry has targeted the state as a prime location for future production of marijuana when federal legislation allows national distribution. Oregon is currently producing approximately 6 million pounds of cannabis, many more times than the local population demands, and is home to many equipment manufacturers for processing this crop that creates jobs and generates tax dollars in the states where it is legal.

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