UV Darden Offers Free Online Course on Smart Biz Growth

Come January, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection will be able to take advantage of Darden School of Business‘s first “massive open online course”, or MOOC, called “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses.”

Last month, the school announced the upcoming course, which comes as part of University of Virginia’s partnership with online-learning pioneer Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Dean Bob Bruner believes the course can advance Darden’s mission of developing principled leaders for the world of practical affairs.

Professor Ed Hess, the executive-in-residence at Darden’s Batten Institute who will teach the online course, says it will reach thousands of students and small business owners around the world who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come to Darden’s campus and learn.

“If we can help some of them be more successful as they face the common growth management problems, we can not only help people achieve their dreams but also help create jobs and have a positive impact in their societies,” Hess says.

Darden is one of the few business schools to offer a course in its MBA program focused solely on the challenges of growing existing entrepreneurial businesses. The course content will be offered free by Coursera in two “Grow to Greatness” courses, the first of which will begin on January 28, 2013.

Since the course was announced in mid-July, more than 15,700 people have signed up. Registration is available via Coursera’s course page.

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