Business Development Certificate

Are you an entrepreneur looking to start or grow your business? Are you a first-generation immigrant or refugee in Colorado? Learn the skills you need to build a successful business and earn a certificate from the University of Denver!


Developed in partnership with World Trade Center Denver, the Business Development Certificate course at the University of Denver's Center for Professional Development is designed for immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs. Over 12 weeks, participants will learn how to launch or expand a business, including how to develop a business plan, manage financing and legal concerns, and build a strong brand and marketing plan. All classes are taught by industry experts with real-world business experience and a passion for working with entrepreneurs. This non-credit certificate course is offered at no-cost to participants.

Fall 2024 Schedule

August 20: 45 minute online orientation, 6 PM

August 22 - November 7: Class every Thursday evening, 6-9 PM

November 14: On campus Pitch Day and Networking Event, in the evening 

This program is offered at no-cost to participants.

Course Schedule

  • Weeks 1-3: Business Plan Fundamentals

    Learn the basics of creating a plan to launch and run your business. Understanding the core functions of your business, your customers, logistics, and finances is imperative for your success as an entrepreneur. This module is designed to ask you the questions you need to answer to understand, start, and run your business.

  • Weeks 4-6: Financial Planning for Business

    This module will teach you how to build a viable financial model to more effectively earn money. Starting with funding, valuation, planning, and tracking, this module will guide you through using Excel, applying the three financial statements, accurately tracking your revenue, and more! 

  • Weeks 10-12: Legal Pathways for Business Development

    This module will give you an overview of legal issues that many start-up and small businesses must address. You'll learn about the formation of a business entity, regulatory requirements, contract formation, employment issues, tax issues, dispute resolution, intellectual property and privacy issues.

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Now accepting applications for our Fall 2024 program

Application open until July 30, 2024

Apply Here

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You Will Learn To:

  • Identify what is needed to start and run a successful business
  • Describe the different types of business entities
  • Create a business plan
  • Communicate your brand personality
  • Craft a messaging strategy for your business
  • Interpret how regulations and taxes will impact your business

Certificate Requirements

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    Attend and participate in at least 75% of classes

  • check mark

    Create a business plan

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    Attend and present your business plan at the on-campus Pitch Day and Networking Event


  • Craig Maginness

    Craig is a managing member of ExIn Global Strategies and a sought-after speaker, teacher, and adviser for businesses looking to grow into new markets. Craig spent much of his career at a Fortune 1000 company overseeing international operations, directing sales and marketing, and serving as president of two of the company’s foreign subsidiaries, and he has launched and run several businesses of his own. In addition to his role as an instructor at the University of Denver, he has taught business as an adjunct professor at both Johnson & Wales University and in the Executive MBA program at Colorado State University. He has served as president and chairman for the World Trade Center Denver, where he has trained entrepreneurs, company executives, and trade support specialists to be more successful international business people. Craig is the author of “Go Glocal: The Definitive Guide to Success in Entering International Markets” which became a #1 New Release in International Money & Business on Amazon following its publication in April 2018. 

  • Harris Kalofonos

    Harris Kalofonos is the Managing Director at Goodvoice Group. Harris has collaborated with several agencies and organizations in pharma, education, real estate, government, technology tourism, and sports, working alongside some of the industry's best minds. Harris has worked at five Olympic Games and for 180 other business initiatives. His underlying passion is connecting the dots of his past experiences through developing one-of-a-kind projects. Harris's key technical expertise is strategic planning, financing, international relations, branding, curriculum development, UX & UI, e-commerce, product design, e-learning, B2B relations, and a deep understanding of business development trends. In 2021, the Global Forum of Education and Learning (GFEL) named Harris one of the top 100 visionaries for his work on Olympic education. 

  • Kurt Gerwitz

    Kurt Gerwitz works in international finance for Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX). Before earning his MBA in Finance and International Business from Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, he worked in education, sales, and corporate training in negotiations. He has taught finance and investments at Tulane, has served on the board of several non-profits, and volunteers with the World Trade Center Denver’s Immigrant Incubator Program. He is currently studying for his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

  • David Aschkinasi

    As a business legal adviser on complex commercial and federal and state government transactions, and international regulatory and strategy matters, David provides business clients with strategic and practical advice and transaction support. He is the principal attorney at his law practice. He counsels business clients on privacy, cybersecurity, FCPA and international compliance issues and helps them develop and implement compliance programs designed to reduce business risk. He specializes in bringing parties with divergent points of view to a common vision of how they can do business together.

Support Our Students

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Student Scholarship Fund

Your gift keeps this program no-cost to students.

Donate today!

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Unlocking Entrepreneurial Potential

The Business Development Certificate Program supports immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in developing and growing their businesses with guidance from mentors and peers.

Learn More

kaye nash, our student is launching an innovative business
Kaye Nash: Entrepreneurship in Action

Through a partnership with the World Trade Center Denver and the University of Denver Grand Challenges initiative, the Center for Professional Development launched a Business Development Certificate aimed at helping immigrants, build their own business. Student Kaye Nash is working to launch her business, Purple Point Neurodiagnostics. 

Read More