Entrepreneurial Skills Program
Location: Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3076
Email: Entrepreneurship@dal.ca or Ding.Fan@dal.ca


Dalhousie’s Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED), offers a Certificate Program in entrepreneurship – the Entrepreneurial Skills Program (ESP), which is open to all Dalhousie University students.

ESP facilitates the development, growth and success of student-run ventures. Through extracurricular, individualized, experiential learning, you will apply skills learned in the classroom to your own ventures. Students participating in the program develop personal portfolios that illustrate their entrepreneurial capabilities. At Dalhousie there is a particular emphasis on ventures that address larger societal needs in the area of sustainability and social responsibility.

What is the Entrepreneurial Skills Program (ESP)?

The program is designed to be taken over the length of your time as a student at Dalhousie and therefore shouldn't extend time to degree completion. Successful students will earn a certificate in entrepreneurship in addition to their associated Dalhousie University academic degree in their field of study. The program culminates in the development of a personal portfolio that illustrates a student's entrepreneurial capabilities which is then presented to an accreditation panel. Upon successful completion of ESP, students are accredited and receive a certificate indicating venture readiness.

How do I know if ESP is for me?

Like most things, you probably won’t know till you know. What we can say is that ESP typically appeals to those students who have an interest in being the masters of their own destiny. If you’ve got an idea for a business that you want to start, either during University or after graduation, then you owe it to yourself to get involved with ESP.

What’s in it for me? Why would I want to be part of ESP?

Being part of ESP introduces you to a network of like-minded individuals. It's no surprise that successful people surround themselves with talented, energetic and visionary people. If you want to learn more about being in business for yourself, or if you want to get better at being an entrepreneur, then ESP is a good start.

By enrolling in ESP, you become part of a growing cohort of students that are interested in making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. Aside from networking and peer-to-peer learning opportunities, you will also have access to training subsidies, business coaching, and skills development opportunities that you can leverage to make yourself a better business owner (or make yourself more marketable as an employee). If you participate in entrepreneurship classes you may be able to pursue your venturing interests while at the same time fulfilling some of the class assignment requirements.

If I sign up, how big a commitment are we talking about?

Students enrolled in ESP are free to choose their degree of involvement. Many students become heavily involved, attending most, if not all, ESP-sponsored events. Others attend a limited number of events. ESP is flexible enough to accommodate you and your personal, academic and professional schedules.

Does Dalhousie offer ESP to other university students?

Yes.  Dalhousie offers the ESP program to university students from other local universities and colleges, including Saint Mary's University, Mount Saint Vincent University. 

ESP sounds like a lot of work – what if it gets too much for me?

Involvement in ESP is entirely optional. You are free to leave the program at any point. Unlike most academic programs, there's no downside risks (mark-related/academic) associated with dropping ESP.