By Tim Ryan

Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting but formidable journey in the rapidly advancing business world. The challenges facing aspiring entrepreneurs are daunting. The demands on their time, energy, and resources are often overwhelming. The Business Development Center at Old Dominion University (BDC) has curated an innovative solution: the Entrepreneur Certification Program (ECP) to empower these aspiring entrepreneurs and alleviate their apprehensions.

Flexibility and Accessibility

Understanding the constraints of time and convenience for budding entrepreneurs, the BDC designed the ECP to be an on-demand online program. It offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing students to study at their own pace, whenever and wherever is most convenient. This unprecedented accessibility opens the door to a wealth of knowledge, empowering entrepreneurs to meet the challenges head-on.

Comprehensive Program Structure

The ECP boasts a comprehensive structure that covers every aspect of entrepreneurship. The program starts with an online Orientation Session designed to give students an overview of the course and what they can expect.

Following this, there are nine online training sessions. Each of these is thoughtfully divided into subsections, allowing you to pause and resume your study as per your availability. The sessions cover various essential topics, from defining your idea and establishing your value proposition to understanding startup finance and discovering funding options in Virginia. This holistic approach ensures entrepreneurs have the skills and knowledge to successfully navigate every aspect of business development.

Moreover, the ECP isn’t just about theory. It provides practical guidance with up to 20 hours of individual mentoring and coaching with a business professional. This one-on-one interaction can be done in person or online and is tailored to fit your busy schedule, providing direct, personalized guidance to fuel your entrepreneurial journey.

Extensive Coursework and Resource Material

The on-demand coursework has training videos, downloadable course material, and links to additional resources. This extensive range of materials ensures a deep and comprehensive understanding of the subjects, making you more than ready to face the entrepreneurial world.

A Unique Opportunity for Virginian Entrepreneurs

Remarkably, the ECP, usually valued at $2000, is being offered at no cost to Virginia Businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Students attending school in Virginia. This extraordinary initiative by the BDC at Old Dominion University is set to revolutionize the entrepreneurial landscape in Virginia, removing financial barriers to education and opening doors to countless aspiring business owners.


The Entrepreneur Certification Program at Old Dominion University’s Business Development Center is a game-changing solution for anyone dreaming of starting a business. By combining the flexibility of on-demand learning with comprehensive, practical, and personalized business training, the ECP is set to pave the way for the next generation of successful entrepreneurs in Virginia and beyond. It is indeed a testament to BDC’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing business talent within the state.

Let the Business Development Center at ODU know if you’re interested here.