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College of Marin’s curriculum for small business prepares entrepreneurs to plan, implement, manage, and grow successful businesses.  Coursework is designed for those who have thought about starting their own ventures, as well as for those new to business. Classes are practical and hands-on. They provide real-world exposure to cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Entrepreneurship & Small Business skills courses teaches you how to develop and commercialize ideas for new ventures. As a future or current small business owner, you learn to develop resources to be more profitable and sustainable. The short-term Skills Certificate in the Gig Economy teaches you how to manage your consultancy. 

Studying entrepreneurship can stand on its own, or be done in tandem with other College of Marin career education, such as computers, hospitality, accounting, web or graphic design, automotive, landscaping, and court reporting.

Business-Entrepreneur Program Options – What does COM Offer?

CLICK on the program award to view costs and required classes for each certificate and degree

Gig Economy Skills Certificate (6.0 units)

Time to Completion (minimum):1 semesters
Estimated Tuition & Fees*:$382.00
Estimated Books & Supplies*:$200.00
Required Course (3.0 units)
Class CodeNameCompletedUnits
BUS 160E-Commerce in Business3.0
Required - Choose 1 (3.0 units)
Class CodeNameCompletedUnits
BUS 121Entrepreneurship3.0
BUS 162Small Business Management3.0
* These expenses may not reflect your actual cost to attend College of Marin. Tuition cost is for in-state tuition, which is currently $46/unit plus additional fees. For out-of-state tuition, see For information about opportunities for financial aid, please contact Enrollment Services at (415) 457-8811 Ext. 8822 or
** These courses have prerequisites.

Career Outlook

What work can I get and how much can I earn?

There are numerous opportunities for entrepreneurial and gig work across most industries. Typical job titles include Consultant, Owner of a Retail or Online Store, Website Developer, Graphic Designer, Caterer, Bookkeeper, Event Planner, Grant Writer, Blogger, Writer, Career Coach, Child or Adult Caregiver, and wherever there is business! Below is just a sampling. Some positions incorporate business along with other education award requirements.

JOB TITLE: Graphic Designer

  • Annual Earnings: $32,210 to $98,440
  • What They Do: Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

JOB TITLE: Event Planner

  • Annual Earnings: $33,630 to $100,630
  • What They Do: Coordinate activities of staff, convention personnel, or clients to make arrangements for group meetings, events, or conventions.

JOB TITLE: Web Developer

  • Annual Earnings: $40,990 to $139,670
  • What They Do: Design, create, and modify websites. Analyze user needs to implement Web site content, graphics, performance, and capacity. May integrate websites with other computer applications. May convert written, graphic, audio, and video components to compatible web formats by using software designed to facilitate the creation of online and multimedia content.
Salary ranges reflect 10% to 90% of annual earnings per data sourced from Economic Modeling Specialists International (; data includes the North Bay Region (Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma) and San Francisco County.

Key Contacts

Who do I contact if I have questions?

PLAN: Call the Counseling Office at (415) 485-9432

OTHER QUESTIONS: Call COM's Career Programs Dept at (415) 457-8811 x8200


PROGRAM QUESTIONS: Call the Business Department:

  • Christine Li (415) 457-8811 x7579
  • Norm Pacula (415) 457-8811 x7407
  • Nancy Willet (415) 457-8811 x7497

Gig Economy Program:
Michael Cairns (415) 860-3733

Why Choose College of Marin for Entrepreneurship?

  • Affordable: College of Marin classes are open to all and cost only $46 per unit for California residents.
    • Starting here is a terrific and inexpensive way to start your career in business.
    • Financial aid and student support services are available to those who qualify.
  • Amazing faculty with strong real-world experience. Our faculty are leaders in the field and bring their expertise to the classroom. You’re taught the skills needed in today’s job market.
  • Small Class Size: Most business classes have 20-30 students. This low student-to-teacher ratio allows instructors to work individually with students as needed while covering material in-depth.
  • Convenient: COM has two campuses (Kentfield and Novato) and class meeting times and locations are convenient to the working student’s schedule. Evening, weekend, and online classes available for a wide range of scheduling needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What else should I know?

Are there any pre-requisites?
Some classes have requirements and prerequisites; for more detailed information talk to a counselor by calling (415) 485-9432.
Can I take classes in the evening or online?
Yes, classes are available in the evenings, with many classes available online, great for working students.
How do I get started?
To get started, you need to enroll at College of Marin and should meet with a career counselor (who can help you with planning your education, direct you to financial alternatives, and more!)

What is the gig economy?

The workforce has seen rise to freelancers, independent contractors and entrepreneurs who work in short-term discrete jobs or ‘gigs,’ often performed remotely by individual proprietors, partnerships, or corporations without employees. This massive trend is a global phenomenon dubbed the “gig economy.”

A study by Edleman Berland reports that 34 percent of the American workforce – or 53 million people – are working as freelancers who “have engaged in supplemental, temporary, or project-based work in the past 12 months and are adding $715 billion annually to the economy through their freelance work.”

A separate study by Intuit estimates that 40 percent of the workforce will be made up of freelance workers by 2020.

What does a certificate in the Gig Economy prepare me for?

The certificate prepares you for careers where you work as an independent contractor or business owner, managing your own career. Gig skills include a wide range, including:

  • Computer Programming
  • Social Media
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Culinary Arts
  • Film Production
  • Music