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Do you have a business idea that you want to get off the ground? 

Do you already own a small business and need help taking it to the next level? 

This certificate gives you the entrepreneurial skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The more you know about identifying opportunities, developing a business plan, and scaling your idea, the more successful your business can become.

Designed to give you the tools and knowledge needed to launch, operate, and grow a Canadian business, this program provides practical skills from accomplished entrepreneurs and experienced instructors. The four required courses build skills in ideation, opportunity evaluation, business intelligence, and venture planning. Based on your business plan, and with the agreement of the academic coordinator, you choose the two elective courses that will best support your career success.

This program:

  • offers both online and in-class learning
  • is eligible for OSAP
  • is comprised of degree credit courses
  • allows students to choose elective courses that support their business goals
  • offers students the opportunity to apply all, or most, of the credit earned through the certificate as transfer credits to a Bachelor of Commerce program at Ryerson or at other universities (subject to admission and the requirements of the degree to which you are applying)

What Will You Learn?

  • Assess your own entrepreneurial potential and managerial skills
  • Identify opportunities and analyze best-fit markets for entry
  • Develop your business idea into an actionable business plan
  • Organize, promote, and finance a business, including bootstrap financing and government funding programs
  • Deal with intellectual property
  • Assess risk and opportunity in buying an existing business or franchise
  • Learn management strategies to deal with common business issues such as cash flow, high growth rates, outsourcing, and corporate governance

Who Should Take This Certificate?

  • You are aiming to launch, or have recently launched, a small business and you need skills such as developing business and marketing plans and identifying market opportunities 
  • You own a business that you want to scale or improve in terms of profitability or processes
  • You are a manager, in a public, private, or non-profit organization, wanting to effectively promote innovative product development and marketing as a workplace intrapreneur

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our courses are taught by accomplished entrepreneurs and experienced instructors.


Industry and Careers

Did you know?

  • On average, 150,000 new small businesses are created in Canada each year, but only about half of new businesses survive five years.
  • Entrepreneurship is a popular pathway for Canadians who want more out of their careers: About one in three Canadians like the idea of being their own boss, and one in five want to start their own business within five years.
  • Entrepreneurship is a powerful force driving innovation, productivity, job creation and economic growth: small businesses account for over 75 percent of all private jobs created in Canada.

Entrepreneurial opportunities are available in every sector of the economy to people with any type of educational and professional background. From athletes to architects, graphic designers to engineers, healthcare to IT professionals – our certificate helps you transform a business concept into a thoughtful plan of action.

Certificate Requirements

  • 4 required courses
  • 2 electives*
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

*You must consult with the academic coordinator. With the submission of an approved Continuing Education Certificate Exemption (Substitution/Directive) Form signed by the academic coordinator, you will complete 2 courses relevant to your entrepreneurial and small business interests (as indicated in your business plan developed in CENT 500).


Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend that you take CENT 500 - New Venture Startup before CENT 505 - Small-Business Management. If you are registered in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certificate, the prerequisite for CENT 505 (BSM 200) will be waived if you have taken CENT 500. Please contact The Chang School at ce@ryerson.ca for permission to register. 

If you only want to take CENT 505, or you want to take CENT505 before you take CENT 500, and do not have the prerequisite (BSM 200), please contact the Academic Coordinator, Philip Walsh, at prwalsh@ryerson.ca, for permission to register.

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits


  • Mature student status

Professional Development

Professional Development Award: Entrepreneurship and Small Business requires completion of CENT 500, CENT 505, and (CENT 526 or CENT 601).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose my elective courses?

The certificate was designed to let you choose two electives that best support your professional interests, as identified in the business plan you develop in CENT 500. Your two elective courses must be chosen in consultation with the academic coordinator before they can be applied towards certificate graduation requirements. 

The electives may be chosen from courses offered through The Chang School or courses you have previously taken through Ryerson University. With the academic coordinator’s approval, and upon receipt of transcripts and course outlines, you may also use elective credits from other post-secondary institutions.

In all cases, you must have a compelling case, demonstrating how the learning outcomes of each course will contribute to the success of your business.

Which types of electives should I choose?

You choose the electives that best support your business goals, leveraging the opportunity to fill any skills gaps identified in your business plan. 

Here are some examples of how the electives might develop specific skills or be related to a specific industry:

  • You want to start a graphic design business.
    Completion of your business plan indicates that your skills in mobile application development need updating and you need a better understanding of accounting practices. The two electives approved by the academic coordinator are CFPN 542 - Design for Mobile Devices and CACC 100 - Introductory Financial Accounting.
  • You are an esthetician and have started a growing business with a new concept.
    The business is growing, you need more skills to ensure its success, and you are thinking about franchising the concept. The two electives approved by the academic coordinator include transfer credit for a course in esthetics and CRMG 902 - Franchising.
  • You have started selling a line of clothing that you design and produce at home.
    You need business skills to keep growing. The two electives approved by the Academic Coordinator are transfer credits from your degree in Fashion Design completed at Ryerson last year.

Awards and Financial Aid




Contact Us

Questions? Contact Phil Walsh, Academic Coordinator.

Email:  prwalsh@ryerson.ca

Additional Details


You must consult with the academic coordinator. With the submission of an approved Continuing Education Certificate Exemption (Substitution/Directive) Form signed by the academic coordinator, you will complete 2 courses relevant to your entrepreneurial and small business interests (as indicated in your business plan developed in CENT 500).