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Polis Selected As Spotlight Small Business of the Month

San Francisco Office of Small Business Selects Polis as March 2014 "Spotlight Business"

San Francisco Office of Small Business Selects Polis as March 2014 “Spotlight Business”

Polis Founder, Mary Finn

Polis Founder and Director, Mary Finn

San Francisco’s Office of Small Business Selects Polis as Spotlight Business of the Month

March 2014
OSB client Mary Finn recently visited the Office of Small Business for assistance with her business start-up. Mary sits down with us for our March “Client Spotlight”…


Q: What type of business do you own and what makes you unique?

A: Your life is busy, but is it full?  The idea for Polis started with this simple but provocative question.  We believe that a vibrant adult community and an active life of the mind are the ingredients of a life well lived. Yet, it can be difficult for the busy adult to find the time and space to cultivate community and dive deeply into learning something new.

Polis is in the business of intentionally building a thriving adult community in San Francisco through high-quality education experiences designed for the busy adult. We offer seminar style classes focused on a wide variety of works of literature, art, science, history, and philosophy. We seek to make engaging with the liberal arts and sciences fun, easy, and flexible.

Our instructors are experts in their fields but they are, first and foremost, expert teachers and facilitators. All Polis courses meet from 7:00-8:30 PM, our classes are centrally located in the Mission District close to BART and MUNI, and we offer one time classes as well as multi-session courses. Polis courses are inexpensive and accessible to adults from all walks of life and education backgrounds.  Best of all, at Polis there are no tests or papers due!

Q: How was the Office of Small Business involved in assisting you?

A:  I am so fortunate that I found the Office of Small Business just as I was starting Polis.  I have taken advantage of so many of the services that the Office suggested for me as a new small business owner.  Specifically, I have taken courses and sought one- on-one advice from the SF SCORE program, I have consulted the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, and I was accepted as a client into the SBDC small business coaching program. Through the SBDC coaching program I have the ongoing opportunity to work with a business development coach who has helped me to make decisions about the direction of the business along the way. I have benefitted tremendously from the support I have received and I am so thankful to the Office of Small Business for the advice and recommendations for services.

Q: Top 3 reasons for being a small business owner in SF?

1) Unlimited opportunity for creativity

2) Polis is a community-focused business and as a resident of San Francisco it is important to me that the business be rooted where I live and work.

3) When I created Polis I set out to “scratch an itch”. I could not find a business in San Francisco that was able to fulfill my needs for both in-person community and meaningful, high-quality, accessible learning opportunities in the liberal arts and sciences. I created Polis to build the type of community that I want to be a part of in San Francisco.

Polis courses are held at BART accessible locations throughout San Francisco. The majority of classes are held at the Women’s Building located at 3543 18th St., San Francisco.

(202) 746-8807 |


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