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  • BUS 120, Introduction to Business
  • BUS 147, Personal Finance
  • BS, Boston University
  • MA, Economics, San Diego State University
  • MS, Entrepreneurship, San Diego State University
  • VOICEMAIL: 760.757.2121 x1226
  • EMAIL:
Joe Silverman
BUS 120 Class

Joe Silverman, the founder and principal of SMALL BUSINESS COUNSELOR, is a third generation small businessperson. Joe holds a B.S. in Finance from Boston University, an M.A. Economics from San Diego State University, and a M.S in Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) from San Diego State University. Joe has over 8 ½ years of project oriented small business experience, including 5 ½ years as a landscape contractor, and 3 years of strategic planning (business plan development).

SMALL BUSINESS COUNSELOR was successful in helping many of its clients obtain bank financing in the form of low interest term loans and business lines of credit. SMALL BUSINESS COUNSELOR also assisted it clients in the area of cash budgeting, breakeven analysis and the development of financial projections. Prior to starting SMALL BUSINESS COUNSELOR Joe worked in finance systems for BF Goodrich Aerospace, and Trade Development at the Port of San Diego.

Since 2008, Joe has been working at the Small Business Development Center, North County in Oceanside, and has taught economic and business courses in San Diego County since 2004, including MiraCosta College. Joe has also taught college level classes at the University of San Diego, Cal State University San Marcos, San Diego Mesa College, Grossmont College, Cuyamaca College and Southwestern College.

Joe is fluent in Spanish from a young age, as well as from having lived and studied in Mexico (fourth grade), Peru (eighth grade), and Spain (1991-1992). Joe currently lives on his sailboat, a Catalina 30, which he plans to sail (someday) to Costa Rica. Joe is concerned with environmental issues, and is actively working to reforest 14 acres of land that he owns in Costa Rica, with the goal of demonstrating economically viable–environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

Joe is a lifetime member of the SDSU Alumni Association, and has been a member of the Surfrider Foundation at the corporate level for four years. Joe is also a member in good standing in, NABE (National Association for Business Economics), SANDS (San Diego SAS Users Group), CFA Society of San Diego, as well as Sierra Club and Ocean Conservancy.


BUS 147:1160 Spring 2015 (SEC)

BUS 147:1225 Fall 2014 (SEC)


BUS 120

Joe being interviewed (en Español)

"Angel Investing" by Gary Rowe of Tech Coast Angels (3-8-12): PowerPt Handout Pt1 Pt2 Pt3 Pt4

BUS 147 Personal Finance Chapters for first two weeks of semester (PDFs):

PFIN-3: CH01 CH02

IMPORTANT NOTE on CLOSED Classes: All the online classes and many of the on-campus classes close quickly. You should register ASAP if you are interested in any class. If you change your mind, please drop the class immediately so others can enroll. If the class is closed, consider the Wait List procedures; be aware of the rules and the limitations. Otherwise, consider these options: 1) register for another section if available; 2) register for another class; 3) consider registering in a future semester; 4) show up for the first day of an on-campus class and discuss with the instructor; or 5) forget about it and move on. The instructor will not intervene with the wait list procedure.

Please be aware that, once a class reaches maximum enrollment and “closes,” on or after the first day of the semester, even if “available” spaces appear on SURF due to drops, it is within the instructor's complete discretion on whether to add more students at that time. Drops after the first day are normal attrition and are factored in when setting the maximum enrollment. The class has started and important assignments and subject matter have already been covered. Please do not email the instructor. Thank you for your understanding.

Teaching Philosophy/Style and Class Management/Activities

Teaching Philosophy: Making it Real
Before going into teaching 5 years ago, most of my business background was both as an employee and as a business owner.  I started filling orders in my dad’s warehouse when I was 8 years old, and as a kid was always selling something. Before I graduated high school I sold flower seeds door-to-door, newspaper subscriptions, cable TV, even fireworks. (The fireworks were probably not legal)  I followed both my father and grandfather, who were both small businessmen by starting my first business, in landscape construction, a year and a half out of college, where I studied business.

The reason I mention my background is because it has influenced the way I think business should be taught. I believe in teaching business in a way that is as real as what you would encounter if you started a business without a formal business education, the major difference being that you will learn from the mistakes and success of others who have gone before you.

Class Management: Responsibility to yourself and your peers
You should come to class prepared to participate and interact. You should treat every class session as you would a business meeting in a company you intend to advance a career in. This means that you should:

  1. Arrive to class on time
  2. Be prepared to answer questions (as if they were coming from a co-worker or superior)
  3. Take notes to improve your recollection and understanding of what is taking place
  4. Be respectful of your peers and the instructor when you challenge something you disagree with.
  5. Be prepared to sit through the entire class session (again, a business meeting lasting 75 minutes) because doing otherwise would be disrespectful of your colleagues and superiors.

Activities: Making it Enjoyable
In my class, students will have plenty of opportunities to participate in a meaningful way. That sounds like work, but it won’t be because you will be taking part in activities that will allow you to be creative, analytical and productive in a way that won’t seem like work. Each student will be expected to take part in the following activities/assignments:

  1. A group presentation
  2. Business case studies (4)
  3. Term paper (3)
  4. Lectures/Discussions
  5. Quizzes (10)
  6. Exams (2)