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Small Business Development Certificate

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Management Certificate

Program Description

Learn how to successfully start and manage a small business. The Small Business Development certificate program at Cambridge College provides business development training designed to prepare today’s entrepreneurs and small business managers. The program is ideal for students who are exploring small business ideas, building a startup business, or are already self-employed. Business development courses are offered online and via evening and weekend intensive classes.

Cambridge College Small Business Development Program Highlights

With only a semester or two of study, a graduate certificate can help you develop the skills you need for entrepreneurship and small business management. Cambridge College offers affordable, flexible business development courses designed for working adults.

  • Affordable tuition. Cambridge College provides affordable business training and a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help with education expenses.
  • Experienced faculty. Learn from highly dedicated, accessible faculty who are experienced business leaders in the Boston area.
  • Flexible classes. Balance work and family time with the help of convenient evening, weekend, and online classes designed to fit your busy schedule. 
  • Convenient locations. All of our classroom locations are close to public transportation and/or offer free parking for students. Join us for a casual information session or open house.
  • Diverse students. Cambridge College welcomes over 300 students from more than 50 countries and was recently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in America.

Small businesses generate three-fifths of net new jobs, representing a major share of employment growth in the United States. About one in five are family owned, and half of small business firms are home based. (Source: Forbes)

Small Business Development Program Learning Outcomes

Starting a small business can be one of the most rewarding career options you can choose, but it’s not without its challenges. In a competitive business market you need sound leadership, communication, financial, and marketing skills to succeed in your business startup.

The Small Business Development Certificate program at Cambridge College provides the foundational skills you’ll need to start and manage a small business. Business development training includes how to prepare a business plan, budget and manage finances, market a product or service, and manage employees.

Small Business Development Careers

There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, employing 57 percent of the nation’s private workforce. When you earn your graduate certificate in small business development at Cambridge College, you’ll be ready to embark on your own startup business or manage a small to medium sized business that’s already been established.

Graduates of our small business program go on to a variety of careers, including:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Small business manager
  • Franchise operator
  • Consultant
  • Marketing director
  • Sales manager

Example Small Business Development Courses

Courses in business development cover a range skills and subjects, from management to marketing and finance. In addition to several required courses, the certificate in small business development offers a diverse selection of elective classes to choose from based on your interests and career goals. Sample business classes include:

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
  • Developing a Business Plan
  • Financial Management
  • Business Law

View the full Small Business Development certificate program curriculum

Small Business Development Scholarships and Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers a variety of financial assistance opportunities to help earn your graduate certificate. Many companies also offer tuition assistance programs that can help toward graduate education.

Learn more about applying for financial aid at Cambridge College.

Find more information about getting your company to help.

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re thinking about earning a certificate in small business development, you might also be interested in learning more about these programs at Cambridge College:


Required Courses
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
MMG 735 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MMG511, MMG520 or equivalent. This course examines the major characteristics of a self-employment venture and the issues facing the person starting or managing a small business. The focus is on the opportunities, risks, issues and problems facing the entrepreneur. Techniques learned in other management courses are integrated and applied to small businesses. Students prepare a business plan for a small business which defines the business concept and provides an integrated strategy for starting up or expanding a business.
Financial Accounting
MMG 520 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MMG514 or equivalent. Financial Accounting covers the four basic financial statements and the way they are used by decision makers. Fundamentals and principles of accounting are discussed along with key concepts underlying accounting systems. Students learn the framework of debits and credits used in posting. The course has a focus on interpretation, analysis and communication of financial data. It covers balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, statements of retained earnings, and required SEC 10K filings. Students learn dual entry - accrual accounting with a focus on analysis of key ratios derived from financial statements for internal management. Special attention is given to accounting for assets, liabilities and owner’s equity. Additional topics include generally accepted accounting principles (GAP), the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, and ethics in accounting.
Marketing Management
MMG 733 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MMG 511 recommended. This course provides a basic overview of the marketing management process, oriented primarily to the non-marketing specialist. It examines the role of marketing in a variety of organizations - product/service, public/private. It introduces students to the analysis of an organization’s market environment, and the development of marketing programs designed to achieve organizational goals. Topics covered include the analysis of markets, buyers and competition; the identification and selection of target markets; the design of product, pricing, distribution and communication programs appropriate to selected markets; and the planning, implementation and control of the marketing effort. The course emphasizes the practical utility of marketing tools and concepts through the use of case studies and application to the students’ own work environment. The course also attempts to create a heightened awareness of the global interrelationships affecting marketing, and the societal implications of marketing decisions.
Developing a Business Plan
DMG 615 1 credit(s)
Developing a Business Plan is a hands-on course that provides students with the basics of how to develop a business plan. Students learn how to describe the business, how to use a structured coaching process to write the business plan, and how to use the business plan to anticipate key issues. The course covers (1) business plan basics including: who needs to write a business plan, when to write one, how long it should be, what a business plan can and cannot do, the risks of writing a business plan, (2) the elements of a business plan, (3) how to develop the plan and (4) ways to enhance a business plan.
Elective Courses

Choose two.

Project Management Concepts and Practices
MMG 710 3 credit(s)
In this course, students will learn how to use the concepts, tools and techniques of project management in order to successfully manage system development projects. System development project failures are generally failures of management, not failures of technology. Good management, along with an understanding of the appropriate use of technology, is therefore essential. Students will learn, in particular, how to apply the concepts, tools and techniques of project management in today's dynamic, digital business environment, where projects must be brought to completion under increasingly compressed timeframes and where decisions must be made under conditions of uncertainty.
Financial Management
MMG 725 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MMG520. The major goal of the financial manager is to maximize the value of the firm. Accordingly, this course focuses on analysis and interpretation of financial data from the income statement, balance sheet and the statement of cash flows, for decision making. Powerful planning and control tools such as pro forma budgeting and break-even analysis are introduced, as well as the concepts of operational and financial leverage. Students learn how to estimate the amount of cash an organization will need in its operations. One key focus of the course is on capital budgeting, based on the concepts of the time value of money. This includes calculations of future value (FV), present value (PV), net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and payback period.
Business Planning
MMG 734 3 credit(s)
This course allows students to learn about business development, new product/service planning, feasibility analysis and trends in innovation. During this course, students will learn how to test new products, forecast financial needs, and analyze market requirements. The basis of competition for new products/services, major traits of successful new ventures, market situation analysis, opportunities for professional challenge, common pitfalls and ways to avoid them will be addressed.
Human Resource Management
MMG 740 3 credit(s)
Changes in the social and legal environment, and the workforce, make it increasingly difficult for organizations to manage relations with employees. The Human Resources Manager needs to be able to formulate organization-wide human resource policies which result in competitive strategy, efficiency and effectiveness, and which are consistent with the organization’s culture and environment. The interests of many stakeholders have to be reflected in such policies — employees, unions, communities and government. The course helps students identify and understand Human Resources Management issues, develop skills in diagnosing situations, discuss effective approaches to problems and assess the comparative effects of immediate action and long-term policies.
Business Law
MMG 561 3 credit(s)
The course provides an overview of the legal aspects and responsibilities/liabilities of managing an organization. Areas covered include the legal system, basic contract law and agency, and how these apply in an international context. It also examines legal issues relating to various organizational structures and the choice of a business organization (corporation, the agency relationship, partnership, sole proprietor ship, not for profit and LLC).
The Manager as Negotiator
MMG 746 3 credit(s)
Effective managers must be able to deal successfully with limited resources, divergent interests of people, and organizational conflict. This course improves skills in negotiation and joint decision-making that students can apply immediately. Emphasis is on integrative bargaining and problem-solving. Students learn the theory and tactics for understanding and diagnosing a conflict, planning for negotiations, and implementing an effective conflict resolution strategy.
Digital Marketing
MMG 736 3 credit(s)

Prerequisite: MMG733. For a business to succeed in today’s digital world, it is important to have a strong digital footprint. The course will assist the students to identify and understand the elements of digital marketing and how to create, implement and evaluate a digital marketing strategy. Students acquire the knowledge to build and actively manage digital marketing campaigns across social media, website and mobile platforms and track results of digital advertising through analytic tools.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Adjunct Instructor


  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for the School of Management


Health Requirements for Massachusetts Students 

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit 

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,308 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of July 2019, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Certificate in Small Business Development