Missoula Regional Small Business Development Center

Counties Served: Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders


To view a different region, choose from the choices below:
Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Miles City, Missoula or Wolf Point.


Regional Director

Jennifer Stephens, MBA, SBDC Regional Director
406.243.4770 | Jennifer.stephens@mso.umt.edu

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Jennifer Stephens brings 10+ years of grassroots and formal economic development experience to her role as Missoula SBDC Regional Director. A Montana native, Jennifer earned a B.A. in Journalism from Gonzaga University and an MBA at the University of Montana. Jennifer has been a business advisor with the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana for the past two years during which she has taken part in over 530 meetings with the nearly 650 entrepreneurs registered with the LaunchPad.

Together with her husband, Nathan Stephens, she co-founded the Montana Web Designers & Developers Association in 2005 to enable tech professionals across the state to network and grow their businesses. She continues to assist with client management for her husband’s business, Groundswell Media Productions.

With hands-on business management experience and training, Jennifer has a passion for working with small and micro-enterprise businesses as well as helping new startups see the potential for future growth. Recently recruited as an advisor to Missoula’s Kiva Zip program, Jennifer is excited to help Montana business access an additional funding stream through microlending. Passionate about providing opportunities for Montanans, Jennifer helped start and continues on the core advisory team for Montana Code School, Montana’s first computer programming bootcamp which takes students from little or no coding knowledge to junior dev level in 12 weeks.

Jennifer also helps organize Missoula’s 1 Million Cups events and has been active in organizing Startup Weekend events across the state in Missoula, Bozeman, and Butte. She was a core planning team member for Missoula Barcamp events for seven years along with Harold Shinsato and Nathan Stephens which brought together approximately 100-150 technologists, artists, and change agents for Montana’s first annual unconference loosely patterned on the O’Reilly FooCamps.



Steve Clairmont, SBDC Business Advisor
406.243.4770 | steve.clairmont@mso.umt.edu

Steve Clairmont is a Montana Native and provides over 15 years of economic development and entrepreneurial development support in his role as a Business Advisor.  Steve has an Associates of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and over 40 years of work experience in the private sector.  Steve has earned his Economic Development Finance Professional certification with the National Development Council and is a former recipient of the SBA’s “Minority Small Business Champion of the Year”.

Steve has owned and operated Eagle Services, a business consulting company since 2019 and his wife Kyunghee has provided cosmetology services in Polson Montana since 2006.  He has provided bookkeeping services for both businesses since their inception. 

Having worked as an individual contributor in various capacities in his work career and in management positions from Supervisor up to the President of a corporation, Steve brings a great deal of professional expertise and experience in business operations, growth, and improvement.  His work experience includes expertise in manufacturing, field service, and electronic engineering from his work in the semiconductor equipment industry; entrepreneur training, plan development, and finance from his work in economic development; and a well-rounded level of expertise from his other roles and from his work with entrepreneurs in western Montana.

Steve worked for 13 years as the president of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ economic development corporation S&K Business Services, Inc. on the Flathead Reservation.  He also served as the Business Center Director for Mission West Community Development Partners in Ronan for two years.  He has found a great passion for supporting our entrepreneurs as they pursue their business efforts. 


Jason Nitschke


Jason Nitschke, Zero to Five Senior Child Care Business Advisor
406.402.2455 | JasonN@ZerotoFive.org

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Jason joins Zero to Five Montana as a Senior Child Care Business Advisor after eight years in economic development as Vice President with the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) and Regional Director of the Great Falls area Small Business Development Center (SBDC). He will be delivering educational opportunities and one-on-one consultation support to entrepreneurs and communities starting, growing, and expanding childcare and early education solutions.

Since 2014, he has advised and trained nearly 4000 entrepreneurs and business professionals, helped start over 100 businesses, supported 2800 jobs, and helped in attracting nearly $75M in capital investment into area businesses. He was the 2022 recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Boots to Business Instructor of the Year, a national award recognizing the top five presenters of the SBA’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship curriculum for active-duty military and veterans. In 2018, he was named the Montana State SBDC Star honoring the top 1% of business advisors in the U.S.

Prior to joining the economic development community, Jason owned two businesses and spent 16 years as a print and broadcast journalist. He is an award-winning broadcaster, native Montanan, and is a proud daughter-dad. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University-Honolulu.

He is a certified business advisor, Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), and certified Profit Mastery and PeerSpectives facilitator.