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New Entrepreneurship Certificate Expands the World of Business to Nonbusiness Majors

Professor talking with smiling female college photography student

June 21, 2023

Entrepreneurship classes are not just for business students anymore.  

The University of Northern Colorado’s Monfort College of Business (MCB) is launching a new Entrepreneurship certificate in fall 2023 designed for all students with an interest in developing and managing their own business. 

The 12-credit hour certificate is an additional educational credential beyond a bachelor’s degree that pairs well with almost any other field of study.   

“We strongly believe that entrepreneurship and innovation should not be restricted to business students,” said Isaac Wanasika, department chair and professor of Management.  

“Most professions and occupations require some working knowledge of entrepreneurship and constant innovation as a basis for survival and adaptation,” explains Wanasika. “Many nonbusiness majors are interested in developing their own businesses, protecting their intellectual property and discoveries or commercializing their research findings through startups. This program offers them the knowledge and pathway to achieve those aspirations.” 

According to Keiko Krahnke, interim dean of the college, expanding the Entrepreneurship program beyond the business school has the potential to advance student success on many levels. 

“Meaningful innovation can often happen only when we can align knowledge from different disciplines. Considering entrepreneurial success for non-business majors a step in the right direction,” adds Krahnke. 

The program’s core courses give students the framework for testing the feasibility of a business idea, developing a business plan and managing a new business. The electives provide practical hands-on experience through direct collaboration with companies during an internship, consulting for small businesses or learning how to launch a business.  

“Entrepreneurship is not only about startups, but also a mindset and innovation in any environment,” said Dalong Ma, associate professor of Management. “Students will learn to identify opportunities, calculate risks, develop collaborative teams, secure funding and transfer ideas into businesses.” 

While the career-ready curriculum enables students to discover, screen, evaluate and commercialize their business ideas, it also emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship in the entrepreneurial space.  

Wanasika seeks to blend business thinking with the natural world. He wants to foster a sensitivity for the natural environment in northern Colorado, providing students with a framework for understanding and mitigating climate impact through sustainable choices and renewable materials, within the business environment. 

“Sustainable innovation is a vital component of the entrepreneurship curriculum,” Wanasika said.  “One of our goals with the new program is to focus on the process of innovation that combines immersive student experiences with creativity, sustainability and environmental awareness. This better equips students with the necessary tools to achieve financial success, environmental and societal impact and sustainable innovation ventures.” 

— written by Deanna Herbert