Doing What MATTERS for Small Business

Curriculum Team Takes Entrepreneurship to a New Level


-Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy, Business & Entrepreneurship DSN, Inland Empire/Desert Region

The Inland Empire Desert Region has recently been working on a 21-unit stackable Entrepreneurship Certificate program.  Funded as a Strong Workforce Regional project, a team of 12 has been meeting monthly, since April 2018, to create course outlines for eight new entrepreneurship curricula. This team is comprised of ten college faculty champions (one from each participating college), an academic senate representative, and the region’s Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The stackable certificate system would start with four courses to create a 12-unit certificate:

  • Entrepreneurship: The Individual, The Business Idea and The Strategy
  • Design Thinking, Innovation and Supply Chain Management
  • Starting a Business with Limited Resources
  • Money, Finance and Accounting for Entrepreneurs

An additional two classes, “Business Model Canvas and Presentations” and “Business Simulations” would comprise an eighteen-unit certificate and taking “Building an Entrepreneurial Team” OR “Solo-Preneurship” would then stack for a 21-unit certificate.  The idea is this will motivate the students to continue their education on the entrepreneurial mindset, give them the ability to earn a certificate quickly, and begin applying the knowledge to their everyday lives.

The team members are now working with their individual college committees and the Regional Consortia for approval, and will also work with the Academic Senate to formulate and complete the C-ID# Program. The intention is to offer these courses as both credit and non-credit, so they can be used in conjunction with the region’s Community College Makerspaces. 

“What is so fantastic about this new certificate is the regional collaboration which has resulted in the development of courses that provide a pathway beginning with entrepreneurial thinking, to finance, to implementation, and launching of one’s venture,” stated Ajene Wilcoxson, Riverside City College Business Faculty and C-ID# Member.  “Students interested in starting their own business will now have the courses and tools necessary for success.”

Once the Certificate Program is completed, the curriculum team will continue their work on additional Entrepreneurship courses based around creative thinking, e-commerce, direct sales, and challenge-based learning to be incorporated into existing classes and for workshops at the Makerspaces.  We are excited to see the results of this project unfold through our students.


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