Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Scott Clyburn, Founder & Director of North Avenue Education, located in Portland, OR, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We're a premium test prep and tutoring agency with operations in Portland, OR, and online. Our clients are ambitious, college-bound students looking to make an impact in their world by pursuing high-quality educational experiences.

Tell us about yourself

Though I tutored in both undergrad and grad school, it wasn't until I was a full-time professor that I realized how dire the pre-college skills gap was. My university students were struggling to produce the sophisticated work I expected of them – and it was this wake-up call that sent me back to the secondary school market to address a critical need.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a sustainable enough business to employ other smart, driven educators and give them access to benefits, a flexible work schedule, and intellectually stimulating colleagues.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Leaving it at the office. Even before the era of remote work, I was constantly thinking about how to improve my business, enhance our offerings, or solve a practical problem. It's key to unplug and nurture non-work hobbies (as well as rest!) in order to return the next day with fresh eyes.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Take risks, but fail early.
  2. Vet your ideas by seeking the counsel of industry outsiders.
  3. When you care for your people, they'll care about your business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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