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MERIT helps entrepreneurs by providing training and ongoing support from pre-business through start-up, and beyond business-launch.

We do this through a three-tiered program design: Explore and Define Your Business, Launch Your Business, and Grow Your Business.

We serve residents of Marion, Polk, Yamhill and surrounding counties; many of whom are unemployed, underemployed, hobbyists who want to earn supplemental income, individuals testing the feasibility of a business idea, or individuals already in the start-up phase of their business. We serve both English and Spanish speakers.

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Latest News


MERIT to Launch Second Phase of Financial Empowerment Academy

Salem, Oregon – Tuesday February 20, 2018 – In a motivating influence for the Willamette Valley community, MERIT (Micro Enterprise Resource Initiatives and Training) continues providing comprehensive financial and business resources for local business owners and families.

MERIT is a 501(c)3 non-profit, located in downtown Salem’s Center for Business and Industry, and has been helping determined individuals blossom into prosperous business owners in our community for over 13 years. True to their philosophy, MERIT has been a resource in providing training and workshops for local entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to take their ideas to the next level.

Through Initiatives such as group classes, IDA’s (3 to 1 matched savings), lending circles and coaching; MERIT has helped seed the foundations of main street businesses throughout the Willamette Valley.


Our Funding Partners

Merit Funders Logos - NALCAB
Merit Funders Logos -Chemeketa Community College
Merit Funders Logos -Northwest Area Foundation v2
Merit Funders Logos Ford Family Foundation
Merit Funders Logos -Wells Fargo v2