The Entrepreneurship Emphasis at Western is designed to prepare students to finance, plan for, start and manage their own profitable venture.

Western’s Entrepreneurship program is all about fresh thinking, positive impact and rising to challenges. And our setting in the eclectic Gunnison Valley reinforces such attitudes. We question the status quo by championing bold ideas, taking intelligent risks and accepting sensible failures.  Professors with real-world entrepreneurial experiences present the curriculum. Our small classes help students develop personal relationships with local business owners and connect the classroom to the community in ways that encourage growth, leadership and commitment.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

Entrepreneurship at Western is anchored in the fundamentals of business, from accounting, marketing and economics, to management and strategy. You will learn to manage an enterprise as an innovative leader, as comfortable reinventing a critical business process as you are formulating strategy for the entire organization. Some of the skills Western Entrepreneurship students grow reach beyond operational fundamentals, including:

  • Opportunity recognition
  • Problem framing
  • Design thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Empathetic awareness
  • Risk management
  • Resilience
  • Negotiation

Beyond the Classroom

Taking a required experiential course that exposes you to real businesses and organizational challenges further develops entrepreneurial skills. Students work one on one as business consultants with an existing or start-up small business.

After Graduation

In our Entrepreneurial Planning course, students develop their own business plans. Many students have launched successful businesses from the plans they created at Western.


 ACC 350 - INCOME TAX (3 credits)

An introduction to the federal income tax system. Emphasis is on the ways in which the U.S. income tax laws influence personal and business behavior and decision making, and how the tax laws can be used to accomplish various economic and social objectives. Topics covered include an introduction to tax research, principles of income and deduction, tax liability, and tax credits. Individual taxation is the primary focus, but the basic principles apply to most forms of business organization as well. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C." Prerequisite: minimum sophomore standing.

 BUAD 100 - BUSINESS IN SOCIETY (3 credits)

A study of the role of business in modern society. Topics include the private enterprise system, consumerism, management functions, major functional areas of large business, vital areas of small-business operation, and the environment of business.


An introduction to hospitality management, including historical developmental patterns, current business trends, and future international expectations. Current job market, working environments, personal risks, and rewards are explored.


Designed to teach students to apply a variety of interdisciplinary computer applications in their business professions. Topics include integrating word processing, spreadsheets, databases, communications, and graphics on personal computers. A minimal skill in keyboarding is required.


This course prepares the student for Microsoft Excel Office Specialist certification. This course covers all of the topics tested by the certifying examination including managing worksheets and workbooks, applying formulas and functions, analyzing and organizing data, visual presentation of data, and sharing worksheet data with others. Prerequisites: college-level mathematics requirement with a minimum grade of "C-" or instructor permission


This course emphasizes the use of computer spreadsheets to organize, analyze and present quantitative information to aid managerial decision-making. The course exercises include examples from several disciplines including business, energy and environmental impact analysis, natural sciences, and social sciences. Specific topics will include business planning and budgeting, capital budgeting and net present value analysis, time value of money, cost / benefit analysis, goal seeking, scenario planning and pivot tables.Prerequisites: BUAD 311, Excel Office Specialist certification or instructor permission.

 BUAD 315 - BUSINESS LAW (3 credits)

Study includes: sales, commercial paper, secured transactions, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and agency. Prerequisite: BUAD 210.


Advertising, sales promotions, media utilization, public relations, and personal selling are highlighted in this course. Legal regulations and ethical considerations in mass media advertising and promotions are also covered. Finally, the student is exposed to the principles of planning and budgeting for such media events. Prerequisites:MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of “C-”

 BUAD 340 - GLOBAL BUSINESS (3 credits)

Provides an awareness of the rights and responsibilities that the law grants to or imposes upon a hotelkeeper and illustrates the possible consequences of failure to satisfy legal obligations. Also included is risk management as a means of mitigating exposure to lawsuits and fines. Prerequisites: BUAD 150

 BUAD 345 - CONSUMER BEHAVIOR (3 credits)

Utilizing theories from the behavioral sciences, this course provides an in-depth examination of the individual customer learning and decision-making processes, segmentation, as well as culture, subculture, and social class relationships with marketing. Students develop an understanding of consumers’ shopping behavior, utilization of different marketing channels, perception of products, and reactions to advertising and other selling methods. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum


Provides students with an understanding of the functions, content and challenges of Human Resource Management (HRM) in organizations today. Insights will be developed on basic dimensions of HRM such as recruitment, selection, performance management, rewards and retention, as well as particular challenges concerning strategic HRM and global environments. Emphasis is placed on how the complexities of HRM relate to students' past and future experiences as members of organizations. Prerequisites: BUAD 309 or COTH 202 or instructor permission.


Provides the future entrepreneur with the skills and insights necessary to minimize risks associated with the undertaking of a new business venture. The primary focus is for each student to prepare a complete business plan for a proposed business enterprise. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum


The formal analysis of an organization’s macro and industry environment

 ECON 201 - MACROECONOMICS GSS1 (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above


Intermediate Microeconomics extends the analysis of individual economic behavior and the functioning of markets learned in ECON 202 by incorporating the more sophisticated microeconomic models used in more advanced economic analysis. Topics include the theories of the consumer and the firm, the functioning of market, and the impact of market structure on price formation. Prerequisites: ECON 202

Faculty & Staff