Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, MERIT will begin to hold class cycles online beginning Saturday, July 25th.


These classes will focus on a variety of topics with modules including: “Identifying & Meeting Market Needs,” “Setting Financial Goals,” “Planning the Product/ Service,” “Researching and Analyzing the Market,” and more.


This program cycle will be a 10-week course – covering 10 business modules at 3 hours each every Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM taught by a MERIT trainer via Zoom.


Cost is determined on a sliding scale based on individual, home or business income.


Financial scholarships are available.

MERIT Class Schedule


Saturday, July 25th

11 AM – 2 PM

Welcome to  FastTrac - NewVenture


Saturday, August 1st

11 AM – 2 PM

Identifying and Meeting Market Needs


Saturday, August, 8th

11 AM – 2 PM

Setting Financial Goals


Saturday, August 15th

11 AM – 2 PM

Planning the Product/Service


Saturday, August 22nd

11 AM – 2 PM

Researching and Analyzing the Market


Saturday,  August 29th

11 AM – 2 PM

Reaching the Market


Saturday, September 5th

11 AM – 2 PM

Building the Organization and Team


Saturday, September 12th

11 AM – 2 PM

Planning for a Profitable Business


Saturday, September 19th

11 AM – 2 PM

Monitoring Cash Flow & Seeking Funds


Saturday, September 25th

11 AM – 2 PM

Implementing Next Steps

© 2011-2019 MERIT (MicroEnterprise Resources Initiatives and Training NW), All rights reserved. MERIT is a 501(c)(3)

Our Mission

MERIT serves an emerging diverse business community in Oregon, providing expert entrepreneurial and financial management training and technical assistance, including family oriented finance management, financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, to build generational wealth and self advocacy, fostering inclusiveness in building an environment of equitable prosperity.

Our Vision

We envision MERIT will be the premier organization that serves a culturally, diverse economy by enabling the creation, expansion, and retention of community businesses that will increase generational wealth of families by advancing their prosperity, promoting their cultivation of transferable assets which will empower our clients to independently and fully engage in all levels of government, business and civic life.

Administrative Volunteer 

MERIT is looking for an administrative volunteer! This volunteer will be asked to assist with filing, scanning, collating, organizing class materials/curriculum, organizing receipts for bookkeeping staff and compiling marketing materials for events. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please fill out our Volunteer Application.

Class Host Volunteer 

MERIT is looking for a volunteer to host classes! This volunteer will be asked to assist with setting up the classroom for the facilitator as well as create a welcoming, safe and encouraging environment for MERIT clients. The class host may be asked to distribute curriculum, obtain drinks/snacks and take attendance. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please fill out our Volunteer Application. 

Contact or Visit Us! 

Phone: (503) 584-7314

Salem Address:

2640 Portland Rd NE 

Salem, OR 97301


Monday - Friday 

9AM - 5PM

Mailing Address:
PO Box 626
Salem, OR 97308

Get involved! Fill out our Volunteer Application


What we do is possible because of an outpouring of generous support from people like you.

We believe that all people have the ability to create their own prosperity. Merit is building thriving, inclusive communities through education, self-empowerment, and empathy.

Who We Are

MERIT is a non-profit located in the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon. We eradicate poverty by empowering economically, socially and physically challenged individuals to increase self-sufficiency and build personal and business assets. Our mission is to help people explore, launch and grow successful small businesses through training, support, financial education, access to capital, and more.


We have been developing neighborhood businesses since 2008 in Salem and the surrounding rural communities in the Mid-Willamette Valley. MERIT is continually growing and making big impacts in our community. We take pride in our history and are excited for the future. Our mission, vision, and values drive our dedicated staff and board to continue to serve our community with excellence. We appreciate our community partners and funders as we recognize that our impact would not be realized without their support. MERIT is here for the Mid-Willamette Valley and its communities.

Vision Business Services is a program designed by MERIT and funded by The Ford Family Foundation to provide business services to English-Spanish bilingual entrepreneurs within rural communities in Oregon. The program is a hybrid workforce development as well as an economic development program filling the gap for business services for low-moderate income entrepreneurs.

Volunteer Opportunities