Norris Dorsey takes his knowledge throughout Southern California, teaching students how to get in and stay in business.
Norris Dorsey is teaching people from the age of 15, all the way to 65, how to manage and start a business through the Dorsey Academy.
Dorsey was into business early on. As a kid, he would deliver newspapers and make lemonade stands, so he always knew that business was his path. He received degrees in Business Management, Information Technology and Organization Leadership from the University of La Verne, and shortly after, he started teaching on a collegiate level.
“I’ve been teaching business for 18 years and it’s something that I love and have a passion for,” said Dorsey. “After teaching for 14 years at all of these colleges, like Northridge, Pierce, Los Angeles City College, UCLA and USC, I decided I have my best case studies from teaching all of these students, so I’m going to do my own thing.”
For the last four years, Dorsey has been teaching through his own academy. He teaches monthly workshops that range from $20 to $100. The workshops include topics like, How to Establish Business Credit, Financial Literacy, Business Plan Writing and Grant Writing. His next workshops will be held on February 2nd and 3rd and will talk about the Gig Economy, which is about people working as independent contractors. oppose to traditional nine-to-five jobs. It is becoming more popular amongst young workers.
A student can get a certificate on Entrepreneurship, Business, or Accounting through a 5-week program at the Dorsey Academy as well. The certificate program has more in-depth information about business planning, such as how to use QuickBooks and create contracts. It also includes many of the workshop topics and has recognition on resumés and LinkedIn. These classes are held once a week for two hours while the workshops are held once a month for two hours. Dorsey is usually based in the San Fernando Valley, but has taken his courses all over Southern California.
“We might be in Gardena one week, we can be in Lancaster, we can be in the Valley or Pasadena,” said Dorsey. “I want to take it to the students, so I move it around. This year I want to have some online courses too.”
Dorsey also brings his courses around the world, teaching in countries like Saudi Arabi and Germany. One of his biggest accomplishments, however, is an award that he received from Mayor Eric Garcetti earlier this month for his work teaching in the community. Along with teaching, Dorsey works with the School Tour, which brings music entertainment to high schools, middle schools, and parks in Southern California.
“This work is thankless,” said Dorsey. “Teachers are underpaid and undervalued. We affect lives and effect change in young people but it doesn’t always get rewarded, so it feels good being recognized for my work.”
Dorsey works with people who already have businesses as well through his consulting firm. One of his biggest tips is, “paperwork makes the paper work.” Through Dorsey’s experience, he knows the importance of being in business on paper before making a lot of money because one lawsuit or unpaid tax could ruin everything. Another tip that he has is to be fully focused and to not do anything partially.