Business Basics 1 and 2

Business Isn't Scary! We'll Show You...

This online course is designed to support women who have a business, nonprofit, or project idea, who are taking over a family business/buying a business, or who have a few ideas but are not sure where to start. Designed to women but open to all! This course empowers women with a vision to take actionable steps to move their idea forward. Students will explore their passions and goals for a business, connect with other like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs, and receive an introduction to business basics, as well as practical and applied tools and skills to get a potential business started.

Open to UM students and Non-UM students (Registration details below).

Business Basics 1 Learning Objectives

  1. What Does Success Look Like to You?
  2. Teams, Networks and Partners
  3. Legal Entities + Basic Legal (What you need to know to get started) 
  4. Problem Identification + Value Proposition
  5. Validation + Minimum Viable Product
  6. Competition 
  7. Business Model Canvas
  8. Next Steps, Summary and Feedback

Some learning outcomes you can expect from this course include: 

  • Gaining a basic understanding of the phases of a start-up through the growth phase, 
  • Self-assessment in multiple areas including your network and gain an understanding of the importance of a good network, potential business partners, and seasoned experts to pursue a business idea.
  • Learn how businesses can be a force for good, not just profit (for example a Benefit Corporation) and a method to pursue this in business - what “the triple bottom line” means, what a “Sustainable Business” looks like. 
  • Understand the business case of a Purpose-Driven Organization.
  • Help determine if a business idea is viable and has the possibility of creating value for customers and revenue for the business.

Business Basics 2 Learning Objectives

  1. Financial Modeling
  2. Financing of your business
  3. Marketing Basics
  4. Cultural Considerations
  5. Leadership 101
  6. Presenting and Sharing Your Idea
  7. MT Business Start-up Resources
  8. Next Steps, Summary and Feedback

Some learning outcomes you can expect from this course include: 

  • Hone the ability to pursue a business idea and put it through a set of tried and true models to move forward with this idea(s).
  • Learn basic financial modeling and financing for your business. This isn't the most exciting to learn, but will be one of the most important pieces of your business.
  • Provide additional information to decide if you might like to continue your education in graduate studies such as a degree in Business Administration. 
  • If you are already working in a company, learn how to be an intrapreneur and bring innovation and revenue opportunities to the table at any level. 
  • Exposure to multiple valuable resources you can use throughout your career.
  • Learn how to effectively and efficiently pitch your idea.

Course details

  • Business Basics 1 Starts Monday, March 15th, 2021, and ends Friday, April 30th, 2021.
  •  Business Basics 2 Starts Monday, May 10th, 2021, and ends Friday, June 18th, 2021
  • Online: work is done independently and autonomously to meet deadlines
  • Tuesday evening labs from 6:00-8:00 for questions, occasional guest speakers, and virtual relationship building with classmates (can also watch recordings of live sessions on your own time).
  • Spots Available: 100 (first-come, first-served)
  • Pre-requisites: while we recommend taking the original Pursue Your Passions course first to learn introductions to frameworks and gather validation, you can still take this course first if you want to jump in full force.
  • For students with children who may benefit from a childcare stipend for class time, please contact the online program manager.

Meet the Instructor!

Nimbletwist Consulting – Karen Tempkin

Karen Tempkin Headshot

Karen advises businesses in developing strategy, creating overall company value, maximizing growth and operational efficiency, and achieving the outcomes they desire. She has a unique ability to combine business development with personal development to create individual solutions for each client.

Karen has a proven track record in small and large businesses (e.g., consulting, multinational financial software, engineering, defense, and service-based industries), creating business vision and goals, and designing sustainable strategies that result in quantifiable business outcomes. She develops practical and socially/environmentally/financially responsible approaches to attaining business goals, while ensuring clients are achieving their potential and creating joy and satisfaction in their work. She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Arizona and a BA from Wellesley College, is a certified Corporate Sustainability Manager, certified Six Sigma Process Improvement Black Belt, Environmental Leadership Program Fellow, and guest lecturer and business competition coach and judge at the University of Montana College of Business. She recently taught a women’s business Accelerator course (mini-MBA) in Washington, DC and Missoula, MT with Her Corner: accelerator and is an instructor for the Pursue your Passion Program at the University of Montana. She has over 20 years of combined business, leadership, corporate sustainability, and consulting experience. Learn more about Karen at:

Areas of expertise:

  • Developing and implementing Corporate Social Responsibility programs
  • Developing overall strategy and goals, and creating business plans
  • Developing processes and systems to align company strategy and objectives with performance goals and metrics
  • Assisting entrepreneurs, business owners and employees with decision-making, problem solving, creating accountability, and improving communication
  • Improving project management and time management skills to help individuals achieve their professional and personal goals
  • Creating management structures and teams to support strategy and business/financial goals
  • Creating management structures and teams to support strategy and business/financial goals
  • Maximizing growth and operational efficiency (for both processes and people), utilizing processes and tools of the Six Sigma Black Belt methodology of process improvement
  • Teaching, coursework development, mentorship and facilitation

How to Register

General Public

Registeration for Business Basics 1 is closed. Regisration for Business Basics 2 is Open! 

If you would like to register for these courses, you can navigate here to register for Business Basics 1 and here for Business Basics 2

UM Students

Registration details for Business Basics 1
Registration details for Business Basics 2


Pay What you Can

Pursue Your Passions has three different prices for you to choose from in order to make this course accessible to as many people as possible. Choose whatever price works best for you at this point of time. If you require additional assistance beyond what is listed please email the online program manager for scholarship opportunities