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Certificate Objectives

The curriculum spans all stages of small business development, from defining an idea to finding and managing your finances to building marketing strategies and managing your operation. This professional certificate's capstone course teaches you how to finalize your business plan and practice the next steps to executing and managing a successful business.

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Recognize the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.
  • Examine small business marketing opportunities.
  • Complete a feasibility analysis of a business idea.
  • Identify innovative small business strategies.
  • Evaluate and make financial management decisions.
  • Address the challenges and opportunities specific to small business management and entrepreneurship.
  • Complete a business plan and be ready to seek financing and open the business.
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Start Up

Certificate Program Overview

A practical and hands-on approach of the key concepts, tools, and techniques required to launch business development initiatives or new business ventures. Learn how to take your dream of starting a business and put it into action. In this certificate course, you'll learn everything you need to know about taking an idea from concept to starting a business to scalability and beyond. If you have a passion for a business venture but aren’t sure how to go about implementing, this certificate will guide you through the process. The primary goal and takeaway from this workshop-style program will be a complete business plan reviewed by leading community & business leaders in a Capstone Project.

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Partnership with SURGE Tacoma

We are excited to partner with the local accelerator SURGE Tacoma which provides a coworking space for its members and the opportunity to apply for additional funding to launch your business.

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Partnership with VIBE

We are proud to partner with the UW Tacoma Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship (VIBE) which provides an applied training environment that supports military veterans’ entrepreneurial aspirations and promotes their understanding of the modern startup lifecycle. Several members of the certificate advisory board are mentors and alumni of the VIBE program and will continue their involvement over the course of the year.

VIBE is open to UW students who are military veterans, active duty service members, or military spouses. We encourage those eligible to join and continue receiving the support and expertise of those who know the specific challenges and unique opportunities of transitioning from the military to civilian enterprises – in addition to working with your civilian peers within the certificate program.

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Minimum Requirements

A.A. or course studies equivalent with two years demonstrated work/military experience required. Exceptions to requirements will be reviewed on an individual basis, including matriculating students.

Length of Classes

3-hour evening classes. 2x/week in Winter Term and 1x/week in Spring Term. 90 program hours.

Program Format

Courses are oriented to combine into term-length outcomes. Each course will have a primary instructor with potential guest speakers from the business community. A limited number of spaces in the first five course sections may be available to professionals who do not intend to pursue the certificate. These course sections are an opportunity for students to discover if the program is a good fit for your needs. You must qualify for admission in the program to be eligible to take individual course sections.

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Contact us

For More Information

Contact Chris Cellars at

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