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Quimby offers new online course at Unity College

By Fran Gonzalez | Jul 06, 2019
Courtesy of: Unity College

Beginning this fall, Unity College will offer an online course on starting a business, and it will be taught by a Maine entrepreneurial rock star.

Roxanne Quimby, founder and former CEO of Burt’s Bees, will lend her knowledge of entrepreneurship to Unity College business students and anyone interested in learning about starting a business, in a course titled "Creating a Healthy Hive: Starting Your Own Sustainable Business."

Offered through Unity's Distance Education program, the five-week course will cover topics ranging from creating your vision for a green business to data-driven decision-making and financial planning.

According to a press release from Unity College, Quimby was inspired by the back-to-the-land movement and relocated to a hand-built cabin in the woods of Maine to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle removed from amenities like electricity and running water. The lessons Quimby learned shaped her vision of simply packaged, hand-made personal care products created from the fruits of the earth.

“In my years of developing Burt’s Bees into one of the fastest growing brands in its sector — and even before that, studying and working as an artist — I learned so much even beyond building a successful business, and I’m excited to pass down that information and those stories to entrepreneurs,” said Quimby, a Massachusetts native who still lives in Maine.

“I hope it inspires those students who are looking to start their own business with sustainability and the environment at its core,” she said.

Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said in a press release announcing the class, “When you think of iconic Maine business people, Roxanne Quimby is one of the first that comes to mind.”

Students can engage in the course in three different ways, taking all five topics without credit for $700, ideal for adult learners seeking knowledge but not pursuing additional degrees; all five topics for three college credits, which costs $1,410; or choosing a topic and weekly module that a learner is particularly interested in for $150 with no credit.

Each option gives students access to course content, a live Q&A with Quimby, and exclusive podcasts with her as well. The course is part of the core curriculum for Unity College’s online Bachelor of Sustainable Business Management program.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to gain firsthand knowledge of how to run a business from someone who created one of the best-known brands in the country,” said Dr. Amy Arnett, Unity College chief distance education officer.

“No matter what phase of your career you might be in — whether you’re just considering starting a business, looking to expand your business to the next level, or even if you want to get an insider’s look at how brands and markets work as an employer,” Arnett said, “you’re going to come out of this course with a new perspective and a leg up on the competition.”

The course runs from Aug. 26 through Sept. 29, with registration open until Wednesday, Aug. 28. Sarah Lozanova, who has worked as a consultant helping corporations become more sustainable, will join Quimby as an instructor for the course.

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