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Business Management Education Programs

Taught by leading faculty from the UW Foster School of Business, the Center’s Business Management Education courses provide business owners and other professionals an opportunity to learn proven business fundamentals and immediately apply them to their work. This management education leads toward creating expansion plans and the development of CEO-to-CEO networks that will open new business opportunities.

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Ascend Seattle is a business education program that accelerates business growth through management education, access to contracting and business development opportunities with large corporations and government agencies, connections to lenders and investors, and the development of CEO-to-CEO networks that will open new business opportunities. Ascend Seattle is a cohort-based program designed to leverage resources and networks from the Foster School of Business to grow small to medium-sized companies in specific industry sectors.

Working together to strengthen our communities, the Ascend Seattle program is part of a national network of partners that works to connect business schools, business service-providing organizations, and community development financial institutions to generate a support ecosystem for helping entrepreneurs accelerate business growth. Learn more about this work here!

The program is taught by Michael G. Foster School of Business faculty as well as business professionals and entrepreneurs. Some of the topics include:

  • Strategic Planning and Decision-Making
  • Financial Management and Forecasting
  • Raising Capital for Growth
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Innovation Strategy
  • Sustaining Growth


  • Development of three-year strategic growth plans assisted by business experts and fellow company owners
  • Connections with corporations and government agencies that are looking to expand contracting and supply chain partnerships
  • Access to new sources of loans
  •  Access to consulting teams of business students to work on strategic projects for your company

This program is ideal for founders, CEOs or executives of established companies owned by people of color, women, veterans, LGBTQ and those located in under-served communities.. Companies must have been in operation for a minimum of one year AND have revenues of at least $500,000 per year. Generally, companies with revenues approaching or above $1 million are best suited to take advantages of the resources provided in this program.
For this year’s cohort, we are seeking participants from companies providing products and services in the following industries

  • Energy/Clean Tech/ Construction: Firms in this cohort include product manufacturers, construction, environmental mitigation, consulting and other services related to creating and implementing energy and clean technology projects in our economy.
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing: Firms in this cohort include companies that produce a consumer-packaged good product that is distributed to consumers through grocery stores, large institutions such as universities or other channels. Types of firms include specialty-food manufacturers, beer, wine and liquor producers, baking companies, food shipping and other firms in the food and beverage industry.

Participants meet two times per month beginning February 21st and end June 26th at the UW Foster School of Business in Seattle (Fridays 8am-12pm).
Tuition for this program is $3,000. Scholarships available.

Applications open as early as August and close in early February. In addition, there is an interview process to review applicants. Companies can either self-sponsor or be nominated by one of the Center’s corporate partners.

Khatsini Simani, [email protected]

The Minority Business Executive Program is a one-week residential program that takes place each Fall for supply chain partners of large corporations and government agencies from across the US. The intensive curriculum grows business leaders from companies owned by individuals who are people of color, women, veteran, disabled, LGBTQ and other minority groups, helping them to position their companies for today’s global economy.

Participants learn to utilize financial tools to make better business decisions, develop strategic plans for growth and sustainability, identify new technologies to scale operations, learn how to market their products and services more effectively, explore strategies to access global markets, and develop their leadership acumen. They return to their business with enhanced knowledge, a renewed personal energy, and an invaluable network of fellow diverse business leaders.

Please visit the Minority Executive Education’s website for more information.

Growing out of the UW Tribal Leadership Summit in response to requests from tribal leaders this program grows the skills of employees moving into or new to front-line management positions. American Indian Studies majors at the University of Washington are also invited to participate.
This 10-credit program includes courses in Management and Leadership, Marketing, Accounting and Finance with a Capstone course that brings all of the learning together. The course combines general business education with issues specifically relevant to the tribal gaming business to create a unique learning environment.
Curriculum is developed in partnership with leaders of Tribal gaming enterprises, and in partnership with the UW Department of American Indian Studies.
The course is offered each summer (summer terms A and B) in three 4-day sessions (one session in June, the second in July, and the final in August). Because this course is designed with experiential learning in mind, the majority of the class sessions will be held on site at Tribal casinos throughout Washington.
In conjunction with the leaders of Tribal gaming enterprises, this program’s goal is to help prepare the next generation of leaders for tribal casinos in the northwest.
(Location details will be provided following registration; all site locations are within a day’s drive of the UW campus.)
The application and registration process is between February and May each year.
Application Fee: $80
Registration Fee: $3,835

Gabriela Michan, [email protected], (206) 543-9545

This six-week program, taught by leading faculty, lecturers and professionals from the Foster School of Business, accelerates the careers for people who are moving into management positions in mid- to large companies and helps those who are starting to grow their business. This program will expand your business skills, improve your job performance, and help you take your company from its first sale to sustainability.
Topics include:

  • Leading a Highly Effective Organization
  • Strategic Decision Making
  • Financial Management
  • Understanding Your Company’s Financial Health
  • Marketing and Branding Fundamentals
  • Marketing Plan Development

Note: For more experienced business owners and managers we also offer the Minority Business Executive Program through Foster School Executive Education.
Business Certificate Program Classes are offered across Washington in:

  • Yakima – 4 course sections offered between March to May
  • Tri-Cities – 1 course section offered in October-November

Yakima Program
The Business Certificate Program improves the business knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities of employees of the Yakima Valley’s leading businesses. This six-week program is taught by leading faculty from the UW Michael G. Foster School of Business and provides participants an opportunity to learn proven business fundamentals and immediately apply them to their work. This program will expand your business skills and improve your job performance. The program is designed for people who want to become more effective in their job, who want to develop their leadership and strategic thinking skills, and improve their problem-solving abilities.

Participants may register through one of the following options:

  • Thursday evenings from 6PM to 9PM on the following dates:
    • March 12, 19, 26
    • April 2, 9, 16
  • Friday afternoons from 12PM to 3PM on the following dates:
    • March 13, 20, 27
    • April 3, 10, 17

Gabriela Michan, [email protected], 206-543-9545