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University of Georgia graduate students discuss their entrepreneurial projects during a “Creative Design Thinking” class at Broad Street Studio One in Athens last year. UGA is offering a new Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, which is available to all UGA graduate students beginning this fall. (Photo by David Metcalfe)

By Ed Morales

The University of Georgia will offer a campus-wide graduate certificate program for students to develop skills necessary to launch and grow businesses and social enterprises.

The Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship will be available to all UGA graduate students beginning this fall. The program consists of 12 credit hours with students choosing two entrepreneurship courses from three options—“Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” “Entrepreneurial Finance” and “Managing the Entrepreneurial Venture”—along with two elective courses tailored to their interests and aspirations.

UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program is housed in the Terry College of Business, supported and taught by five lecturers with decades of entrepreneurial experience, including program Director Bob Pinckney.

The graduate certificate builds on the recent success of UGA’s Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, established in 2016. More than 80 students have graduated with the certificate since that time, and five times that many UGA students have applied and been accepted to the program in just the past two years.

“Economic development is central to the university’s mission, and a key component of our commitment to support economic growth is teaching and refining the entrepreneurial mindset in students who have that interest and ambition,” said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “We’re very pleased to offer this university-wide certificate to graduate students who want to join the ranks of innovators and inventors whose ideas will propel growth in Georgia and beyond.”

The UGA Entrepreneurship Program supports a number of curricular and extracurricular programs for students to learn about entrepreneurship, explore common interests and pursue their own startup ideas. Events and programs include:

• Live competitions where teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, like UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur and the Collegiate Consensus Great Brands Show (formerly the Collegiate Next Great Consumer Brands Competition).
• An eight-week “boot camp” for business development, called the UGA Idea Accelerator Program, held every semester.
• The UGA Summer Launch Program for competition-tested teams that are in the imminent stages of startup.
• And the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series that brings successful entrepreneurs to campus for students to learn from others.

Information about UGA’s Entrepreneurship Certificate program is online.