The Martin Heerema entrepreneurship program at Central seeks to prepare students to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers as well as contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The curriculum uses a 3E model—education, experience and example—that combines problem-solving with projects and internships and mentorships with real-world experiences.

of college students want to start a business in the future
of CEOs around the world say their customers will want new or different services in the future
of the net job growth in the U.S. is attributed to startup firms

The Central Difference

Challenging Academics

Utilizing a best-in-class curriculum, students will learn from the latest and greatest in the industry. This includes curriculum supported by the Kauffman Foundation, a leader in entrepreneurial education. Advanced curriculum developed by Steve Blank is utilized in the Startup Semester course. Blank, affectionately known as the Godfather of Silicon Valley, uses this same curriculum at both Stanford University and Columbia University.

Crafting Success

After more than a decade in social and nonprofit work, Becky Hedges Pospisal ’04 had no idea how to manage and operate a business. But she was ready to learn something new, to be her own boss.

Entrepreneurship by Example

Students will benefit from an array of entrepreneurial experts who visit class on a regular basis to discuss real world entrepreneurship. No lectures, no theories—just practical, hands-on advice from seasoned experts.

Hands-On Experience

In addition to the Startup Semester course, students will gain experiences through startup internships, field trips to startup regions and other on-campus and off-campus events that broaden their perspective on entrepreneurship.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Central College student

Beyond Central


Clay Thompson ’90 leads listeners through “On Leadership,” a podcast that facilitates conversation with Central College affiliated leaders from various fields and disciplines. Through these discussions, individuals share their unique experiences, perspectives and lessons learned on leadership.

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

While the entrepreneurship minor is a new program, a Central education has left earlier graduates well-equipped for an entrepreneurial career.

  • Chief marketing officer, DomiKnow, Des Moines
  • CEO, Apertus Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Chief accomplishment officer, Carpe Factum, Inc., Des Moines
  • President and CEO, Your Clear Next Step, Des Moines
  • Principal, Startup City Des Moines

Central Students Participate in Red Rock Start Up

Central students Chandler Herber ’24, Jack Cannon ’25 and Max Payne ’25 participated in Red Rock Start Up, a live pitch event for entrepreneurs.


  • Entrepreneurship Club

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you!

Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Graduate Placement

The entrepreneurship program takes the hands-on approach to a new level—top-notch internships and problem-solving projects help students follow their dreams in graduate school where 94 percent of Central students were admitted into the school of their choice.


  • Veel Hoeden, Pella
  • Arthane Inc., Richmond, Mo.
  • Lean Technologies, Pella
  • Many Hands for Haiti, Pella
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The entrepreneurship program starts with understanding how successful entrepreneurs think, act and behave by learning about the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. A hands-on, real world application of entrepreneurial skills takes place in the advanced Startup Semester, where students launch and operate real businesses of their own.

A new course on social entrepreneurship, a rapidly growing sector or our economy, blends service learning and entrepreneurship in a meaningful manner. Students learn about organizations that pursue dual goals of making a profit and making a difference.

Conducted in a lab environment under the guidance of mentors, students identify and evaluate opportunities, marshal resources and take the entrepreneurial leap in a supportive, controlled manner. This approach cannot be found at any other college or university.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Core courses

Sophomore Year

  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Principals of marketing

Junior Year

  • Advanced entrepreneurship
  • Principles of management
  • Not-for-profit management
  • Internship

Senior Year

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Marketing research
  • Internship


Learn More

Want to find out more about Entrepreneurship at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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