Completion time 12 weeks
Tuition $2,500 total
Delivery Asynchronous with optional live sessions
Next start date September 25, 2023
Type Noncredit, up to 3 CEUs available

“We’re one square mile from any resources you would ever need to get a business started.”

Bruce Leech, Senior Instructor, Director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

Certificate in Entrepreneurship Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate program, you will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Classify reasons for entrepreneurship
  • Appraise your own motivation for entrepreneurship
  • Recognize types of impact that business ownership has on an entrepreneur’s life
  • Develop a customer value proposition for a new business
  • Conduct research to assess the initial feasibility of a new business
  • Use Business Model Canvas as a planning tool
  • Evaluate resource needs of a new business
  • Assess new business profitability
  • Develop and deliver a pitch for a new business

Who Can Benefit From this Entrepreneurship Certificate?

Whether you have a business idea to explore and refine, are just beginning to consider launching a business or are interested in bringing innovative ideas to your company, the certificate in entrepreneurship provides tools and lessons you can apply to any industry.

While it’s helpful to have a general understanding of business terminology, the program is open to individuals who have at least a high school education.


The DePaul Online Entrepreneurship Certificate consists of three, four-week modules. Rather than jumping straight into the business plan, the program starts by laying the groundwork to help you envision what it takes to be an entrepreneur and find your reason for entrepreneurship. It then progresses into examining the feasibility of your business idea and culminates in the development and delivery of your own well-conceived business plan that can be taken to market.

Module 1: Entrepreneurship My Way

The first module allows you to examine your purpose for entrepreneurship and to understand how starting a business will affect your life.

By the end of the module, you will have completed a multi-page document that covers the customer problem you are interested in solving, your proposed solution to the problem and an explanation of how this business idea matches your previous experiences, personal values and goals in life.

  • Week 1: Types of Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship
  • Week 2: Life as an Entrepreneur
  • Week 3: My Startup Reason
  • Week 4: The Common Theme Behind All Entrepreneurship: Solving Problems

Module 2: Testing My Business Idea

In the second module, you’ll refine or broaden your potential business idea and solicit feedback. This includes creating a document that explains your business model.

  • Week 5: The First Customers
  • Week 6: Entrepreneurial Market Research
  • Week 7: Introduction to Business Model Canvas
  • Week 8: Deeper Dive into Business Model

Module 3: Planning for Success

The third module prepares you to successfully launch and grow your business. You will leave the module with a pitch deck for your business idea.

  • Week 9: Your Business Plan
  • Week 10: Creating Products that Customers Want
  • Week 11: Finding Resources
  • Week 12: What’s Next? DePaul Resources That Help You Share Your Business Idea With the World

Certificate Program Experience

The Online Entrepreneurship Certificate program is developed and designed by instructors Maija Renko, who is a professor, Coleman chair of entrepreneurship and director, MS in Entrepreneurship program, and Bruce Leech, senior instructor and director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. A facilitator from the Driehaus College of Business will monitor the program and serve as a resource for participants.

The program features asynchronous activities, as well as optional live sessions that will be recorded. Along with videos from instructors, guest lectures will be delivered from members of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center advisory board—all practicing entrepreneurs from the Chicagoland area. You can also expect discussion board posts, readings, quizzes, surveys, podcasts and project work as part of the certificate.

Participants will have access to the program materials for up to five years. They will also be invited to join in refresher training and meet-up opportunities hosted by the school.

Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Participants and alumni of the entrepreneurship certificate program will have access to the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and its many workshops, events, competitions and resources, including:

  • Internship program—Gain experience working in a startup environment over the course of a summer.
  • Mentor program—Form a connection with and receive guidance from a successful businessperson.
  • Hackathon Challenge—Develop solutions to a problem faced by an entrepreneurial company.
  • Purpose Pitch—Pitch your purpose-driven startup.
  • Student Innovation Expo—Present your business idea to judges and peers from the university.
  • Social Impact Incubator—Complete a six-week, hands-on bootcamp to further your business.
  • Workshops and events—Attend events in-person or virtually, on topics like writing a business plan and startup 101.

DePaul is also a member of:

  • 1871—Ranked the #1 private business incubator in the world and housed in the Merchandise Mart, the community hosts events and provides resources perfect for tech companies.
  • mHUB—A space for manufacturing, including prototyping, equipment and connections.
  • 2112—An incubator for music and the creative arts, located on the northwest side of Chicago.

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