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 than 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 40% of the gross domestic product of Oregon, the highest percentage of any state in America. This is a recent phenomenon in Oregon as the state has transitioned away from a natural resources based economy multiplying its total manufacturing output roughly eight times since 1997. 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 quite literally on main street, in the city of Portland which has emerged as a “foodie” mecca with its over 500 operating food trucks. It is anticipated by IBA that this vibrant garden of small family owned businesses will give birth to future generations of successful entrepreneurs who will own restaurants, manufacturing plants, and wholesale companies selling products that were beta tested on consumers grabbing something to eat at a food truck down the street.