Scholarship Offer: Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship


This past weekend, I asked people the following question on social media:

“If you could start any business what would it be and why? What’s stopping you?”

I got some great answers. I heard from someone who wanted to start a guide service for inner-city kids, people who wanted to start restaurants and bars, graphic design shops, and even someone who wanted to start a hot sauce company based in Alaska. I received even more ideas through other comments and private messages.

The ideas were great, but the passion of those who responded was even better, highlighting what makes entrepreneurs special. The belief that if you have enough determination and enough passion for your idea, you can make it a success. But going out on your own can be a scary thing, and it’s certainly not easy. It’s normal to be intimidated by the uncertainty, and I saw that in the comments attached to people’s responses. Of course, lack of funding was a common reason people gave for what was stopping them, but others cited their uncertainty, the fear of failure, and a lack of knowledge. These concerns match up with what I’ve experienced in my own life in entrepreneurship and what I’ve witnessed and heard working with thousands of small business entrepreneurs these past years.

One thing that I have learned though, is that the people with access to the best education and the best knowledge have the best chance at success. I had incredible mentors, both as a football player and in business. I was lucky enough to learn from greats like Bernie Marcus and Sam Walton. To this day, I have the letters I received from Mr. Sam hanging outside of my office door, a constant reminder of the value of mentoring and the impact that simply listening and sharing advice can have on someone’s life.

My goal has always been to make it easier for the small business person. That’s why I founded and it’s why I’ve spent the past year and a half working with the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to create the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship. It’s a unique online program designed to level the playing field and give entrepreneurs access to elite business thinking and training from one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. It’s the kind of resource that has always been out of reach of most small business entrepreneurs—until now.

Looking back at the comments on that post, I saw people who want to start something new, the exact people who need access to this training, but simply don’t have the resources to do it right now. So I decided to offer one entrepreneur a full scholarship to the program, paying their full $995 program fee, and pay $250 of the program fee for anyone who submits an application below.

If you have a dream of starting a new business or running your current business better, then this is for you. I hope you’ll take the time to enter or share this opportunity with someone you know who has that dream. Tell me why I should give this opportunity to you. I’ll announce the winner at the beginning of May, and for everyone who enters and shares their story, I’ll pay $250 towards your program fee.

That’s the mission of business, after all: helping people to improve their lives. But even more importantly, I think it’s the mission of life.

Submit your application

before April 30th.

Apply Now

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of and Tarkenton Companies. With a passion for small business, he’s started more than 20 businesses during and after his NFL career. Fran is a small business coach for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing advice and guidance through sites such as,, and more. He has written about business issues in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. New and World Report, and USA Today, along with regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. You can follow Fran on Twitter @Fran_Tarkenton.