Small Business Management

Owning a small business has both benefits and challenges. On the one hand, small business owners have the freedom to control their own schedules, focus on work that they find fulfilling, and find unique opportunities to help their communities. On the other hand, owners and managers of small businesses often have to wear many hats and take on many roles. In a single day, a small business owner may have to do any number of varied tasks, such as creating or approving a budget, hiring and training new employees, or developing a marketing campaign. With this in mind, this program provides students with a fundamental understanding of the most critical areas of knowledge needed to run a small business.

Students who complete the Small Business Management program are awarded a total of 3 CEUs, 22 PDUs, 30 HRCI credits, and 30 SHRM PDCs. Students have two years in which to complete all of the coursework, beginning on the date they are emailed the course access.

Small Business Management helps the student to develop their business skills in a variety of areas. From accounting fundaments and marketing to human resources management, this program teaches skills that are crucial to have in running a successful small business.

The entire program takes approximately 30 hours to complete. Duke collaborates with MindEdge to provide this online, entirely self-paced program.

This program provides the following eight courses:

  • Accounting Fundamentals for Small Businesses
  • Introduction to Small Business Management
  • Small Business Marketing
  • Budgeting and Financial Analysis for Small Businesses
  • Laws for Small Businesses
  • Projecting Management for Small Businesses
  • HR Fundamentals for Small Business
  • Leading and Managing Small Businesses

The Small Business Management program is self-paced and can be conveniently accessed anytime and anywhere from a mobile device with an internet connection. Courses are engaging and include videos, interactive exercises, games, assessments, and real world case studies. An "Ask the Expert" feature allows you to pose course-related questions and receive feedback within three business days. This program does not require any additional purchases of supplementary materials.

Quizzes and Testing

There are tests throughout the program. Each course contains exercises and scenarios for students to answer and self-assess their learning. Students are required to complete all content elements in each course and earn at least a 70% average test score to earn their certificate and receive their CEU credits. Students will have three attempts at all graded tests.

As a non-credit program, students earn a complete/incomplete status. Letter grades are not issued, nor recorded by Duke Continuing Studies.


All registrants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess word processing and internet skills.
  • Be fluent in the English language (including reading and writing).
  • Be familiar with how online programs work and be comfortable using them.
  • Be computer literate, have reliable internet access and a valid email account (Please note that personal email accounts are preferred as they are less likely to be blocked by firewalls and spam filters).
  • Meet the computer technical requirements specifications.

Admission is discretionary. The office of Duke Continuing Studies, Professional Certificate Programs, requires students be a least 18 years of age and meet minimum suitability standards. Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.

Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of any student or applicant.

The materials used in this course are copyrighted and are intended for individual use by registered students. Unauthorized or illegal use, or attempted use, of these materials will result in a suspension and/or cancellation of the user’s account.

Certificate Requirements

In order to earn a certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies, students must successfully:

  • Pay tuition in full (upon registration).
  • Complete the program in its entirety within the two-year time frame (beginning when students are emailed their program access).
  • Complete all assignments and tests with a minimum score of 70% (Students have three attempts at all graded assignments and tests).

Technical Requirements

Operating System
  • Windows XP SP2 or newer
  • Mac OS 10.4.11 or higher
  • Linux/Unix (any recent version)
  • 1 Ghz or faster CPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Video card
  • Sound card and headphones or speakers (some assignments have audio components)
  • Any modern Office suite: Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, OpenOffice (free download available at, or LibreOffice.
  • Latest version of Adobe Reader/Acrobat Reader (free download available at
Web Browser
  • The latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. (Other web browsers may work, but may not render all features of the course).
  • Cookies must be enabled.
  • JavaScript must be enabled.
  • Reliable internet connection.
  • E-mail account (to be able to register and to receive e-mail from the system regarding registration, course status, etc.).


Registration is ongoing; therefore students can begin the program when it is convenient for them!

Registration is not available June 24-June 30 annually due to the close of the fiscal year for the university.


Note: our enrollment system is a separate system from that used for your online training, and therefore, access to the online training is not an automated process upon your registration. Please be aware that there may be a time delay of up to 5 business days before you receive the email with your access to the online program. This delay will not affect your allotted completion time for the program. Please check your spam/junk folder because sometimes the access emails end up there.

Enrollment steps
  • Register for this program and pay tuition in full.
  • Receive an email within five business days from our program partner MindEdge containing details about how to access the program’s web portal.
  • Log in and begin coursework. Students will have two years to complete their coursework from the date they are emailed their program access.
Registration Methods 
  1. Register Online using a debit or credit card with our secure, real-time registration system. Add the course to your shopping cart and follow the instructions for checking out.
  2. Email if you wish to enroll using some other method of payment or are seeking a Duke employee discount on your tuition.

Are there textbooks, and if so, are they included in the cost of the tuition?

There are no textbooks required for this program.

Is this program affiliated with any other office at Duke University?

This program is not affiliated with any other Duke office. It is offered exclusively through Duke Continuing Studies in collaboration with MindEdge.

Does Duke faculty serve as instructors/mentors/subject matter experts in the program?

For programs that include such features (not all do) we have chosen as instructors to use individuals who practice, and in many cases are certified, in the subject matter area being taught to enrich the professional working adult learning experience.

Do I have to log on a certain times on certain days?

No, these courses are completely self-paced, allowing students to schedule the course work as they so desire within the allotted access time.

Am I able to take individual courses?

No, the Small Business Management program is available as a whole program, and individual courses cannot be purchased separately.

When is registration open?

Students may register between July 1 and June 23 each year. Registration is not available from June 24-June 30 annually due to the close of the fiscal year for the university.

After registering, when will students receive additional program details?

Within five business days of enrollment (excluding weekends and Duke holidays), students will receive an email from our program partner MindEdge with web access information.

Is access to a computer required during this program?

This is an exclusively online program and access to a reliable computer or other mobile device is required for the duration of the program.

How long do students have access to each online course?

Students will have access to all courses within the program for two years from the date in which they receive program access.

How long does the program take to complete?

The entire program takes approximately 30 hours to complete. Completion time will vary by student.

Are extensions granted to students who request them?

No. Sufficient time to complete coursework has been given, and therefore no extensions will be granted. If a course is not finished and a student wants to re-enroll to complete it, he or she will have to purchase the course/package again and restart the training from the beginning of the course.

What are the technical requirements for this program?

See the Requirements section above.

How do students ask questions?

Each course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours.

What do students do if there are technical issues while completing the course?

Students should contact the Duke Program Manager via email to troubleshoot technical issues. Students can expect a response within three business days.

How do students earn a certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies?

Students who complete all program content within the allotted time, achieve the minimum grades required, and pay tuition in full (upon registration) will receive a certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies. Students will be able to download, for up to six months from completing the program, a certificate of completion from the Learning Management System.

Will these courses count for academic credit or towards a degree?

No. These courses do not give academic credit and are not applicable to a degree.

Upon completion of one or more courses, how do students get verification of their IACET and PMI PDU credits?

Students should download their certificates of completion for each of the courses in the program from the Learning Management System. These will include CEU and PDU credits earned.

What is the refund policy for these courses?

There are no refunds given for online courses



Duke Employee Discount

  • $50 off the fee of $525; Duke employee pays fee of $475.
  • Student must register by emailing and paying tuition in full prior to receiving program access.
  • Questions: Contact Program Manager at

Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process and cannot be applied in addition to any other discount that may be offered. You may be asked to verify your status as a Duke employee.

Group Discount

Do you have a group (Duke or non-Duke entity) interested in training?

Contact the Program Manager for details.

Funding Sources

No loans can be construed to imply any degree-seeking status for students of Duke Continuing studies. Duke Continuing Studies courses are non-credit.

Duke Continuing Studies (DCS) will not certify (approve) loan amounts greater than the amount of the tuition regardless of the amount approved by the lending agency. DCS reserves the right to reject any loan which exceeds the tuition amount. DCS will not be responsible for refunding monies in excess of the tuition. Students needing to secure loan funding for books or other items in relation to the program are responsible for making separate loan arrangements with the funding agency. No loan funds will be refunded to the student.

Should a student choose to borrow less than the tuition amount, the balance must be paid prior to the close of the registration period.

Loan Options

Due to the tuition cost, this certificate is not eligible for the private student loans through Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. Your local bank may offer other options for loans or a "line of credit" service. Contact your bank for more information on financing choices.

Funding Sources

Our Professional Certificate programs are non-credit (not degree applicable); therefore, they are NOT eligible for federal education loans. DO NOT SUBMIT FAFSA FORMS for these programs. Some of our programs may offer payment plans. Please see individual program web pages for those details.

Other Funding Sources

The funding options listed below may not be applicable to all programs at this time. Please contact the organization offering the funding to see if you qualify and if the funds can be used for the program in which you are interested.

Duke Hospital Employees

Duke University Hospital employees may be eligible for support from the Employee Development Initiative (EDI), which helps employees pay for short-term career-related programs, workshops, and seminars. For more information, visit the Employee Development Initiative site or call Duke Hospital Human Resources at (919) 668-2170.


AmeriCorps Education Awards are available only for AmeriCorps volunteers and can be used for educational expenses for non-degree courses, such as Continuing Education courses offered by qualified schools. For more information on qualified schools and programs, contact the National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677, or visit the FAQ page of the AmeriCorps website.

Online Refund and Transfer Policy

There are no refunds, cancellations, or transfers for online, self-paced courses.

Extension Policy

No extensions will be granted. Students who require additional time to complete the course(s) they registered for will be responsible for re-registering and paying for the course in full for a second time.

Tax Deductions

Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline:

  • Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”