The Fundamentals of Business and Innovation certificate provides students with the tools and skills necessary to successfully launch or grow an existing business, product, or project. Through knowledge acquisition and real-world applications, students will increase their ability to utilize innovative techniques to solve business and consumer problems. Core topics include successful business models, financial management, digital literacy, marketing communication, and sustainability. Students who complete the certificate will differentiate themselves in the areas of business and innovation, expand their career options, and be able to:

  • Explain the four core success factors of business
  • Apply innovative tactics to business problems
  • Design a plan to start or grow a business, product, or project

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Course Details

Module 1: Foundations of Business & Innovation The Foundations of Business & Innovation course leads students through both the academic research and practitioner methods of creating and maintaining successful business ventures. From traditional business plans to more modern techniques, students will utilize new learning and chart a course to bring an idea to reality. Personal motivations for leading innovative efforts will also be explored.

  • Summarize the components of a business model
  • Practice fundamental innovation techniques
  • Assess personal attitude and motivation for business innovation

Module 2: Financial Management for Business & Innovation
The Financial Management for Business & Innovation course teaches students about how macro environments affect innovative efforts and how proper economic planning can help ventures thrive on a micro level. Common techniques for funding startups and intrapreneurial innovations are explored. Students will engage in creating a financial plan for a project, product, new or existing business.

  • Recognize how socioeconomic environments impact innovation
  • Determine the key performance indicators of financial stability
  • Evaluate methods of funding business innovation

Module 3: Digital Literacy in Business & Innovation
The Digital Literacy in Business & Innovation course trains students to consider digital solutions as a component of every business or new venture. Students will work toward a novel incremental digital innovation of their own after exploring technology trends and digital transformation examples that succeeded and failed. Digital tools for data acquisition and analysis will be taught.

  • Explain and give examples of innovative digital transformations
  • Analyze technologies for business and decision making
  • Recommend solutions using existing innovations

Module 4: Marketing Communication for Business & Innovation
The Marketing Communication for Business & Innovation course exposes students to one of the most important fundamentals necessary to ensure success in business. Existing cases are explored to instruct students on the pros and cons of marcom decision making. Students will be led through the creation of a marketing plan for a new project, product, existing or new business venture.

  • Describe the promotion concepts for innovative products and services
  • Critique components of existing business marketing collateral
  • Construct brand material that includes culture, storytelling, and diversity

Module 5: Sustainability of Business & Innovation
The Sustainability of Business & Innovation course presents students with the opportunity to explore innovation from an ethical perspective and incorporate proper stewardship into a business idea. The components of culture, human capital, and collaboration will be examined from a sustainability perspective. Students will also engage in the act of pitching how their idea could become reality.

  • Discuss the importance of business ethics and stewardship
  • Examine innovative culture, human capital, and collaboration
  • Plan and propose the act of bringing an idea to reality

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and individuals who desire to be in new venture settings have the option of taking random courses from universities or committing to a full-time MBA. The Fundamentals of Business and Innovation Program will bring together the fundamentals of business and innovation for the purpose of launching and new venture or growing an existing business. With an accessible time frame and cost, the Fundamentals of Business and Innovation Program will draw members of the community who desire to increase their personal level of innovation in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance information can be found on Rice Financial Aid's Visiting and Continuing Education Students page.


Due to the high demand for courses, registrations are considered final as of 10 working days before class starts. No refunds will be issued after these dates and credits will not be given for future classes. No refunds will be granted for participants who miss a portion of a program. Refund requests before the deadline are subject to a 10% processing fee and must be made in writing to gscs@rice.edu. If books have been issued, the cost of the books and any shipping fees will be deducted. Refunds for credit card payments will be processed as credits to the accounts from which they were paid and may not appear as a credit until the following statement. Refunds for enrollments paid by check take up to four weeks to be processed and mailed by the Rice University accounting office. There is a $30 charge for any check returned for insufficient funds.

An individual may be able to claim a tax deduction or a tax credit for the cost of attending this continuing education program. However, we do not issue 1098-Ts. Non-academic credit programs such as continuing education courses do not require a 1098-T per IRS guidelines. Please keep a copy of your receipt and consult with your tax advisor about whether your payment meets the regulations that apply to tax deductions and tax credits. The University’s Federal Tax ID Number is 74-1109620.


More and more individuals are looking to create a business or new venture and don’t have the background skills to do so nor do they want to spend a couple years at a university to make the idea into a reality. Through this program, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs would be able to work on their idea during each course / module. The learning then flows into the development of your project, culminating into a final pitch day where you present your plan.



Enroll Now - Available Sections

Section Title
Fundamentals of Business and Innovation Program
8:00AM to 12:00PM
Mar 27, 2021 to May 22, 2021
6:00PM to 8:00PM
Apr 01, 2021 to May 20, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Regular Tuition $4,750.00