By: Lauren Charley


The Niagara College “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program” is a part-time certificate, offered online through the Continuing Education Program.

Many students dream of one day owning their own business. The idea of being the boss, in charge of operations and delegating tasks to others, is appealing to those who desire the freedom and excitement available by following a career path as an entrepreneur. By setting up your own business, you are able to combine your enthusiasm and interests with your skills and intellect, in order to achieve financial prosperity and personal success. What many of these aspiring young professionals fail to realize, however, is that becoming an accomplished small business owner does not simply happen overnight. It is easy to come up with an idea, but in order to become a professional entrepreneur, it takes a lot of time, dedication, planning, and education in order for all aspects of the business to operate smoothly.

The skills and education obtained through taking an Ontario College program in “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management”, are designed to prepare students with the knowledge and practice they will need when surviving in the world of modern business. “The extensive course inventory provides students with a course that will meet their needs, and they can register with any partner college offering the course,” notes Jayne Moffat, the Associate Dean of Continuing Education at Niagara College. Through courses covering topics such as the fundamentals of business, operations and legal issues, computer and technology basics, marketing, planning, and presentations, students are sure to receive an exceptional education which they can then apply to achieving their dreams for entrepreneurial success in the future.

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program at Niagara College

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program offers a certificate designed for individuals who seek to expand their knowledge of small business management and advance in their professional careers. The seven course program prepares students with the necessary skills and training to own and run a successful small business. Classes are offered by Niagara College in the spring, fall, and winter terms. It is completed entirely online through OntarioLearn, with the final exam taking place at either the Niagara-on-the-Lake or Welland campus. All participants of the program are able to complete their education on their own time, within five years, to receive the certificate.


 What sets apart the education received at Niagara College compared to other schools which offer the certificate program?
“This program is administered by one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial colleges and delivered by faculty who are experts in entrepreneurship and small business.”- Jayne Moffat

Compulsory Courses of the Program

“The Entrepreneurial and Small Business Certificate provides a very solid foundation which students can build upon. The intent of the certificate is to allow students to gain knowledge and skills on the process of becoming an entrepreneur,” – Jayne Moffat.

•  Small Business Financial Management – ENTR 1012:
  Provides students with an overview of financial management concepts, to learn the terms and operations of small business management from an accounting perspective.

•  Introduction to Small Business and Entrepreneurship- ENTR 1010:
  Designed to teach students the foundations of entrepreneurial success, in order to develop the skills necessary to
  own and operate their own small business.

•  Computer Skills for Business I- CAPL1013:
  Teaches students the basic computer skills essential for assembling their own small business plan.

•  Computer Skills for Business II- CAPL 1023:
  A continuation of Computer Skills for Business I, this course takes the skills acquired in the prerequisite and
  advances them to the level of expertise necessary for developing their professional business plan.

•  Business Plan and Presentations for Small Business- BUSN 1024:
  Applies the dexterities learned from the Computer Skills for Business courses and applies them directly to
  working on the final stages of the students’ business plans and PowerPoint presentations.

•  Small Business Marketing- MKTG 1010:  
  Through relevant research, students will learn the tools applicable to designing an effective marketing campaign
  for their small business.

•  Small Business Operations and Legal Issues- BUSN 1022:
  Teaches forums of business ownership, licensing requirements, inventory planning, employee selection, and other areas of small business ownership operations.

Success Story – Cathy Leyenhorst, Assistant Retail Manager at Upper Canada Cheese Company, Jordan Station

Cathy Leyenhorst is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program, who attributes a lot of her current career success to the certificate she earned from her education at Niagara College. Like many others who enroll in the program, Cathy says “The business world had long been a source of fascination for me; however, I did not relish the thought of going to work in a large and potentially impersonal corporate environment.  I felt that I could make a meaningful contribution to a small business environment if I learned the skills set of an entrepreneur…hence my enrollment in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program.”

After completing her training in just a year, Cathy landed a full time position as the Assistant Retail Manager at Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan Station. Already having completed a baking apprenticeship and Dietary Food Service Worker certificate, Cathy was able to combine her education with the new skills she obtained from the small business management courses, and apply them directly to this rewarding career. “The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program was a tremendous asset in helping me bridge the gap from my former employment situation to my new career.  I really have used virtually every skill taught in the program in my new workplace, and I understand the dynamics of the business well because I now have an appropriate academic background,” Cathy says proudly.

Start Planning Your Future Today
It’s never too late to start a career in entrepreneurship or small business management. Whether you are looking to build upon your previous education and work experience, or start entirely from scratch with a new and exciting vocation, the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program at Niagara College, will provide you with the skills and education necessary to thrive in professional business industries.
Registration for courses in the fall semester begin on July 14th 2014, and start on September 9th, 2014. Those interested in the program are encouraged to visit the Continuing Education website at Niagara College: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/ce.