Business Core and Entrepreneurship Pathways at WCC


By Bonnie Beatson, WCC Marketing and Public Relations Director

Dreaming of being your own boss? Or maybe CEO of the next Hawaiʻi startup and branching out from there? Beginning in fall 2023, Windward Community College (WCC) has two opportunities to get you started in degree programs with an eye on business.

The Business Core program is a series of eight-week online classes leading to an associate’s degree. For business majors interested in a four-year degree, the two-year accelerated learning experience provides the chance for direct transfer to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business or UH West Oʻahu.

“Our Business Core will jump start our students’ progress towards a bachelor’s degree,” said Charles Sasaki, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The focused online classes will provide students in the cohort with a solid foundation in accounting, economics, business law, business math, communications and more, all designed to fit into busy schedules.

“Getting your degree is a foot in the door – it’s a stepping stone to other opportunities, and it can help you develop your skillset and build personal connections with leaders and future influencers,” said Deacon Hanson, assistant professor of accounting.

Entrepreneurship student Joshua Kealanahele developed a shortbread recipe as one of his first big collegiate assignments for a WCC entrepreneurship class.

“We had to come up with a cookie recipe and create a logo and branding for it and eventually sell them,” Kealanahele said. “I had a ton of help from my professor, Chef Dan Swift, and together we killed it. He has been a huge impact on my college career and he has shown me a lot of guidance and what it takes to start up a small business – that’s why this cookie recipe is special to me.”

A limited number of one-year scholarships are available for students interested in earning a two-year liberal arts degree from WCC with a focus on entrepreneurship. If you have an idea you want to turn into a business, but don’t know where to start, this program is for you.

WCC’s liberal arts AA degree with classes on entrepreneurship, provides the basic tools and knowledge to help turn ideas into a successful business. The entrepreneurship classes cover how to finance or manage costs, promote your business, and the legal issues involved in starting a business.

“In Hawaiʻi, so many people have a ‘side hustle’ that they dream about making their ‘real job,’” said Chancellor Ardis Eschenberg. “WCC’s entrepreneurship pathway helps you pursue your dream of being your own boss with knowledge, insight and a well-thought-out plan.”

Through a series of eight-week classes and financial support from the Kawaiaulu Scholarship, students are offered the experience of getting ready to start a business. Classes are online with the exception of limited hands-on, in-person specialty courses.

“The Business Core and Entrepreneurship pathways appeal to various student populations, including recent high school graduates, returning adults, and students looking to venture out and try new things” said Haʻaheo Pagan, career and transfer counselor. “We provide one-on-one counseling, academic plans, and connect students to resources on campus that may lead to their overall success while at WCC.”

Learn more about the Business Core and Entrepreneurship pathways at WCCʻs website ( or contact Haʻaheo Pagan at 808-235-7460 or

Register for an information session Zoom link for Business Core (March 8, April 14, May 10) or Entrepreneurship (March 15, April 21, and May 17).

Money for College at WCC

Windward Community College (WCC) offers a variety of scholarship opportunities.

Windward Oʻahu high school graduating seniors can get up to full tuition paid each semester for the first year through the Hoʻolei Scholarship, and apply to WCC with the quick and easy Kamaʻāina Application. On-campus employment is also available for students.

Furloughed or unemployed individuals can apply for the $500 Kūlia Scholarship. Native Hawaiian students living on the mainland may be eligible for in-state tuition. For more information on financial assistance, email