Oberlin's Creativity & Leadership Project affords a variety of opportunities for students to build the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to launch their ideas. These curricular and co-curricular classes expose students to practical, global, and socially responsible perspectives on entrepreneurship.

Faculty interested in incorporating entrepreneurship into their courses may also apply for curriculum-development grants available through C&L (contact for more information).


ENTR 100 - Creativity & Leadership: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship
*This course is a prerequisite for application to the Creativity & Leadership Fellowship
Through a series of case studies, this course introduces students to entrepreneurship in its social and historical contexts. Students explore the role of mission and vision, pressures exerted by economic constraints, ethical issues as they relate to entrepreneurship, and factors that contribute to successful entrepreneurial endeavor. The course will also survey the resources available at Oberlin to students interested in launching their own ventures. Open to all students.

ENTR 101 - Creativity & Leadership: Business Model Innovation
Students will create a business model for a venture they are interested in starting. Topics include: developing a compelling value proposition; key required partnerships, resources, and activities to realize the value proposition; distribution channels; types of customer relationships; sustainability.

ENTR 201 - Launching Your Venture [cross listed as POLT 411 - Practicum in Applied Research]
Students will learn about the business, ethical activities, and choices of political research consultants as a model for launching their own businesses. Functioning as part of a small consultancy team, students will research and write on a topic in the policy realm that services the needs of an off-campus organization. Students will train in strategies for conducting research and presenting written and oral findings to a client or financial backer. Guest speakers on aspects of operating a new business are scheduled.


ENTR 110 - Fundamentals of Finance
Fundamentals of Finance gives students a solid understanding of the fundamental theoretical constructs of finance and accounting to enable them to make informed financial decisions at all stages of their lives. The course further explains how these same constructs can help them analyze and discuss important issues in the world around them, including the financial crisis and foreclosures, bank behavior, sovereign debt issues, student loan levels and repayment, and investment decisions.

Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 305 - Grant Proposal and Report Writing
Sooner or later many professionals find themselves applying for grants. This course covers the basics of researching funding sources, writing proposals, and setting up and writing evaluation reports for projects. Students will learn to use the Cleveland Foundation Center?s database and work on a grant proposal to fund a community-based project in their area of interest. Instruction includes individual attention to fundamental college-level writing skills. Especially useful for artists, scientists, and community activists.

Conservatory Studies

CNST 201 - Touring for Musicians
Overview of musical and business considerations in planning a tour, including repertoire selection, age-appropriate presentation techniques, audience development, contracts, travel arrangements, insurance, communication.

CNST 200 - Professional Development for the Freelance Artist
A semester-long course that will examine the many aspects of a freelance artist's career. The purpose of this course is to introduce the techniques necessary to survive in the business of the Arts. Skills such as: marketing, negotiating, entrepreneurship, writing, networking and business skills will be studied. Specialists in the various fields will be invited to the class to speak about their own professional experience. Each student will conduct an informational interview, present a press book or portfolio and set up a personal Web page.

CNST 202 - Presentation Skills for Outreach
Students will design and implement outreach components and learn how to give successful presentations to children, adults, and peers. The class incorporates reading and discussion, and offers opportunities for students to hone their presentation skills.

Many believe that outreach consists primarily of “taking the show on the road.” Increasingly, musicians are asked to re-imagine the traditional audience/performer paradigm. This one-module course offers concrete strategies for giving successful presentations, and prepares students for this important and often overlooked skill.

CNST 160 - Digital Audio Skills
This course educates student musicians about the practical aspects of recording, editing, and distributing their music. Students who complete the course will acquire the following skills: choosing microphones appropriate to their instrument(s), operating an audio recording device of CD-quality, transferring their recording to computer, editing their recording with computer software, saving their finished recording in a format for distribution (CD and/or MP3 file). Students will learn primarily through hands-on experience. Each component of the course will include a technical introduction with written materials and practical experience with hands-on exercises.