McGuire Economic Development Programs

Small Business Certificate graduates

The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is committed to making social impact through economic development. 

Program Success

Learn about the positive impact that the Business Certificate and the Consulting Programs have already had on our community. 

Learn more 

The McGuire Economic Development Program (MEDP) is focused on job creation by delivering entrepreneurship and business training to business owners in Southern Arizona. In addition, MEDP also has a course at Eller College of Management where students work on business consulting projects with local business owners to improve their managerial skills and grow their businesses – revenues, profits, and number of employees.

Community Opportunities 

Our Economic Development programs offer two types of learning experiences for small business owners:

Business Certificate Program

An educational program for small business owners, the Business Certificate Program consists of six business classes covering diverse topics such as management, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, and legal issues. Taught in English and Spanish, the classes in business basics lead to a non-credit business certificate from Eller College of Management.

Learn more: Business Certificate Program

Business Consulting Program

The McGuire Economic Development Program helps to grow small businesses through consulting offered by Eller College business students, with mentoring from faculty and volunteers from local businesses. Between six to eight businesses receive at least 600 student hours of consulting services each spring semester.

Learn more: Business Consulting Program 

UA Student Opportunities 

BNAD 455 Small Business Development and Consulting

This course for Eller undergraduate students provides a project based, integrative experience that brings together all aspects of business into one project. In the classroom, activities focus on consulting skills that help students develop a framework for analyzing business processes. Outside of the classroom, each student consulting team works with a local small business owner with professional guidance and mentoring for each team provided by local business professionals and Eller alumni, in addition to Eller faculty and staff.

Learn more: BNAD 455


Future Vision

Over the next few years and with increased funding, we would like to add more services. We plan to expand the Business Certificate Program classes to nearby locations, such as Nogales and Casa Grande, which can be served in person. We would also like to pilot online classes for distant locations such as Yuma and Sierra Vista. In addition, we have had many requests for additional classes in topics such as social media, website effectiveness, and market research. The college McroAge Lab is a perfect setting for classes using Internet-based resources and Eller’s faculty are knowledgeable and skilled educators.

We would also like to offer a new set of smaller classes (up to ten) devoted to developing business plans that would not only be appropriate information for lenders, but also help the business owner set business and learning goals related to developing their organizations. Other local organizations provide assistance with business plans but the classes and plans are solely focused on financing whereas we would focus on plans that can be altered in a very flexible manner to meet the dynamic changes in the business landscape.

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:

Ildefonso "Poncho" Chavez
Manager, Economic Development Program

520.621.9976 office
520.834.5988 cell

Eller College of Management
The University of Arizona
McClelland Hall 103
1130 E. Helen St.
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108

Partners and Sponsors

The McGuire Center is pleased to have support from the following sponsors and partners:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. logo


YWCA TucsonPrimavera  City of South Tucson Wells Fargo Arizona Bilingual