190 Complete McGuire Center’s Business Certificate Program

Fall 17 Business Certificate Program graduation
October 10, 2017

The McGuire Program's Business Certificate Program Benefits Existing and Aspiring Small Business Owners and the Local Community 

On October 10, 190 current and aspiring small business owners gathered at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management to celebrate their completion of the Business Certificate Program, a community education offering of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. 

See Photos from the Event

Check out the photo album of the Fall 2017 Business Certificate Program graduation ceremony. 

See photos

The Business Certificate Program is a six-week course that aims to improve opportunities for small businesses in Southern Arizona. Through six business classes, taught once a week for three hours by Eller College faculty and affiliated professionals, participants learn management, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, and legal issues. The certificate program is offered in English in the Fall, and in Spanish in the Spring. 

"Whether participants need help marketing their products, understanding financial analysis, or improving their negotiating skills, the Business Certificate Program will help them achieve their business goals and aspirations," said Ildefonso "Poncho" Chavez, director of the McGuire Center's Economic Development Programs. In addition to the Business Certificate Program, the Center's Economic Development Programs include the Business Consulting Program, which helps grow local small businesses through consulting services offered by Eller undergraduate students under the guidance of faculty and volunteer local business professionals.

After an introduction from Carlos J. Alsua, a McGuire Center senior lecturer, Jose Arias, Vice President, Relationship Manager III, Chase Business Banking, welcomed the audience on behalf of Chase, the main sponsor of the Economic Development Programs. Four panelists then spoke. 

Abel Leon, owner of Perfecto's Mexican Restaurant, is a great example of the impact the Business Certificate Program can have. After completing the Business Certificate Program four years ago, his family business received advice through the Business Consulting Program. He then enrolled at the university and received his undergraduate degree through Eller in May.  

Ismael Roberto Trevino took the very first Business Certificate program in 2012. An engineer, he recently quit his job at Raytheon to pursue his passion to build a solar energy company. He thanked Arias and Chase for the loan he received to make his startup, Elemental Creations, LLC, a reality. 

Paul Thomas Rorex, owner of Complete Kitchen & Bath Co. completed the Business Certificate program this fall and is now receiving advice from the Small Business Consulting class. 

Jim Jindrick, a McGuire New Venture Development Program Entrepreneur in Residence, was the final speaker, and he provided some tips, tools, and rules of thumb for aspiring entrepreneurs. 

After the speakers, nearly 200 people marched across stage to receive a certificate honoring their achievement in completing the program. 

"It's clear that the McGuire Center’s Business Certificate Program is a catalyst for economic development here in Southern Arizona," McGuire Center Director Remy Arteaga said. "Being able to provide quality business training to underserved populations is so important to strengthening our community."