The Entrepreneurship Center: Small Business / Entrepreneurship Program


GGU is offering help to entrepreneurs and small business owners who are committed to enhancing their present business or pivoting as a result of Covid 19 challenges.

The Entrepreneur Program and Small Business Programs are made possible by support from Chevron.

These programs are free and open to public upon application acceptance (see application guidelines below).


 NEW APPLICATION DEADLINE: Saturday, October 16, 2021

Small Business Program/Entrepreneurship Program

The world turned upside down - how do I start a new business or pivot my existing business?

Fall 2021

11-Weeks:   Saturdays 9AM-12PM (tentatively scheduled to begin October 23rd)

Who is this program for?

This program of entrepreneurial information delivered by experienced business professions is designed to teach beginning entrepreneurs and existing small business owners how to build and/or restructure their business in today’s dynamic everchanging small busines environment.  The program offers an outstanding opportunity for participants to invest in themselves and future success. Participants should have a solid plan for their prospective business. This course will provide resources, learning and pathways towards understanding of what you going to do and the timeline to achieve the goals for your business.

A Foundation for Success

The goal is for you to have launched or reimagine your company by the end of the program. In addition, through other cohort members, mentors, and alumni, you will have built a powerful network of support as you continue to grow your business.

Participants of the program will be expected to:

  • Start a practice/business before the end of the year-long program (June 2022).
  • Attend all classes, workshops and events.
  • Support fellow alumni.
  • Be a mentor in the future.

If you are not able to commit to any of the above activities, please delay your application until you are able to fully participate in the program.

Cohort Meetings

Leveraging the strength of the cohort, you will meet with faculty every other month to review progress, share stories of success and challenges and receive targeted assistance as needed.

These courses are offered in a blended-learning format, combing synchronous, asynchronous, web-blended format with virtual classroom sessions, interactive learning exercises and expert guest speakers. The class format will be heavily interactive with breakout sessions with the rest of the class.  Subject matter experts will speak to each of the weekly topics and relate his or her personal experience to that subject.


Based on commitment demonstrated and progress made during the weeks of the class, the student will qualify to be assigned a mentor. The goal is to assign a mentor with experience directly related to the business of each qualifying student.


Applicants will be interviewed and evaluated based on their desire and commitment to starting a practice/business over the next year, the amount of thought and planning they have already put in, and the resources they have available to them to implement their goal of establishing their practice/small business. Please note: there is NO enrollment fee for the program due to a generous grant from Chevron.


Write a brief statement of intent outlining your business, resources, experience, and commitment and e-mail your current business plan to:

If you are selected for consideration in the program, there will be a follow-up phone interview to determine final acceptance into the program.


Applications must be received by Saturday, October 16, 2021.


Participants accepted to the program will be notified by Tuesday, October 19, 2021.


Classes begin Saturday, October 23, 2021.


As an experienced small business owner, your wisdom, drawn from your real-life lessons, can provide valuable insights to aspiring small businesses owners. To make the Small Business Program vibrant, we are seeking assistance from GGU alumni to be speakers, members of panel discussions, instructors or mentors.

Please email us at to let us know how your expertise might best be applied to the program.


Being a part of the Golden Gate University Entrepreneurship Program was an amazing learning experience that refined my business plan and brought great clarity to my overall business goals. Having access to experts in marketing, finance, and business was so valuable and helpful in navigating next steps for my business. I’m also so grateful to the facilitators and my fellow classmates who provided a safe space for generating ideas, providing feedback, and lots of encouragement.   

- Krystle Chipman, Owner, Discover Community Cafe


As a small business startup, the entrepreneurship program at GGU was invaluable for me. Yes, learned technical skills such as putting together a business plan and the importance of a snappy elevator pitch, but I also made meaningful connections which are still benefiting me today. Teachers like Robert Shoffner deeply care about the success of program participants. I was touched by how he was always willing and to take the extra time to talk out an idea, brainstorm a pitch, or just listen. I am thankful for his experience, his expertise and his generosity.

- Abigail Munn, Executive Director, Circus Bella


Can I participate in the Small Business/Entrepreneurship Program remotely?

  • Yes, will be conducted on the Zoom platform.  It is essential that you are present for all class sessions.

I have a conflict on one/some of the class meeting dates. Is it possible to miss a session(s) and still participate in the course?

  • In order to participate, you must be able to commit to all ten class meetings.

 Is it possible to participate if I cannot attend for the full time frame?

  • In order to participate, you must be able to arrive on time and stay for the full class meeting.

How many students will be accepted into this program?

  • We are able to accept a maximum of 25 students.

Is it ok to bring a friend or family member to sit in on a class?

  • Although we would like to be able to accommodate guests, we restrict attendance to only those who are part of the course due to limited seating capacity. 

Is it possible to change my business idea after submitting my application?

  • Once you are in the program you may be able to pivot from your original plan after consulting with instructors. 

If I'm working on a business with another person/other people would we submit our application together?

  • No, each individual must submit their own application for review.