Small Business/Entrepreneurship Program

Year-round Programs for Aspiring Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

GGU is offering help to entrepreneurs and small business owners who are committed to enhancing their present business, starting a new venture, or pivoting due to ramifications of Covid-19.

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).

Application Deadline

Saturday, August 31, 2024

Program Start Date

Saturday, September 21, 2024 through Saturday, December 14, 2024

(13 weeks, with no class during Thanksgiving week)

About the Program

How do I start a new business or pivot my existing business?

This program of entrepreneurial information delivered by experienced business professionals is designed to teach beginning entrepreneurs and existing small business owners how to build and/or restructure their business in today’s dynamic, ever-changing small business 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 program.
  • 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.

How to Apply

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 along with your business plan (please see the One Page Business Plan and Business Plan Template for reference) and e-mail 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.

Students working together and taking notes.

Have a Small Business & Want to Share Your Experience?

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.

Woman working on tablet in office space.

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.

As a small business startup, the entrepreneurship program at GGU was invaluable for me. I 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.

Frequently Asked Questions